Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Rasheed Wallace Profile
Name: Rasheed Abdul Wallace
Spirit animal: Egyptian mongoose
What he gives us: A role player's attitude with a superstar's game.
Why we care: At some level, everybody wants to strangle somebody else.
Notable remark: "Some people say I'm mean and this and that. On one hand that's cool. That keeps away all the riffraff and all the bugaboos."
Distinguishing marks: On his right arm is a tattoo depicting Akhenaton, the pharaoh who introduced monotheism to ancient Egypt by worshiping the sun god Ra.
Knowledge seed with no jewelry on: After winning the 2004 NBA title, Rasheed made WWE-style belts for himself and his Pistons teammates.
While Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki are generally given credit for reinventing the power forward position over the past 15 years, Rasheed Wallace's contributions are too often overlooked. At a full 6 feet 11 inches, the incredibly athletic Wallace runs the floor like a guard and possesses an unblockable jump shot, with a range that's out past the 3-point line. And unlike many of the big men who have followed in his path, Wallace's skills aren't limited to the perimeter; he has a complete post game with an array of back-to-the-basket moves and is one of the best post defenders in the league. During one NBA on TNT broadcast, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith flummoxed host Ernie Johnson by insisting that Wallace could be one of the top five players in the league if only he really applied himself.
Wallace's reluctant dominance made him a perfect fit for the Detroit Pistons, a team of ballsy, hardheaded vets whose swagger was a collective effort. When he arrived there in 2004, he found a team of kindred souls—a bunch of castoffs with boulder-size chips on their shoulders and enough resources to get them to the Eastern Conference Finals the season prior. Rasheed put them over the top, solidifying their interior defense and finally giving them a dependable offensive weapon in the post. More importantly, Chauncey Billups' early work in cultivating his reputation as "Mr. Big Shot," along with Ben Wallace's bulging biceps and throwback Afro, was more than enough to keep the attention off Rasheed. When the Pistons pulled off a shocking 4-1 upset of the Lakers to bring home the title and Wallace was celebrated as the missing puzzle piece who had made it all possible, it was a part he enthusiastically embraced. While he may not always be humble or servile, Sheed's greatest pride is reserved for team, rather than individual, success.
From: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac