Rasheed Wallace is back in the NBA. Which should be a good test of the NBA’s technical policy if nothing else.
He’s had a few other chances to return from retirement the past two years, a number of teams including the Celtics (where he last played) have approached him. He said no. He didn’t want to come back.
But he has this season with the Knicks, and he talked with the New York Times about why. And the why is coach Mike Woodson.
It was Woodson, perhaps with perfect timing, who called Wallace in May. That was the same month the Knicks removed his interim title. “He asked me if I still wanted to play,” Wallace said of Woodson, who coached him as an assistant in Detroit. “It meant a lot that Coach Woodson still has that feeling that I can be a positive influence on this team.”
Woodson was an assistant coach on the 2004 Pistons team that won the NBA title with Wallace. That is where their bond formed.
“You know with myself being a hothead and with Ben Wallace, the way he was, Coach Woodson kept us calm,” Wallace said. “He was the one that quieted the storm.”
How much Wallace can help remains to be seen. The Knicks start Tyson Chandler at the five and Amare Stoudemire at the four, then bring Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and they plan to use Carmelo Anthony some at the four like Team USA did this summer. (Also, Steve Novak can be a stretch four if you want.) There are minutes to be had but Wallace has to earn them because Woodson has options.
But ‘Sheed is back in the league and ready to rack up some technical. And points.