Detroit Pistons

Is Ben Wallace Hall of Fame Material?

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 22:  Ben Wallace #6 of the Detroit Pistons awaits a free throw shot during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 22, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pistons 117-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Mike B.Correspondent IJanuary 19, 2012

Several future stars heard their names called during the 1996 NBA draft. 

Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson and Ray Allen were all drafted that year.

And don't forget about guys like Stephon Marbury, Jermaine O'Neal, Peja Stojakovic, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Antoine Walker (yes, he once was considered a star).

One player that definitely should've been a part of that famous '96 draft was Ben Wallace, the 6'9" center from Virginia Union who somehow went undrafted.

In hindsight, "Big Ben" not only should've been drafted, he should've been a lottery pick. Why? Because he just might be inducted into the Hall of Fame someday.

Wallace signed as a free agent with the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in October '96. After three seasons with the team and then one in Orlando, he was sent to the Detroit Pistons in a sign-and-trade deal for Grant Hill in the summer of 2000.

In Detroit, Wallace would instantly become one of the NBA's top defenders. He received the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award four times and was named to the All-Defensive First Team five times.

Wallace also emerged as a four-time All-Star and earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team three times and the All-NBA Third Team twice.

But most importantly, he helped the Pistons win a title in 2004, the team's first since 1990, back when Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and the rest of the "Bad Boys" were playing in the Motor City.

For a few seasons, Wallace produced outstanding numbers when it comes to rebounding and blocked shots. He averaged a career-best 15.4 rebounds per game during the 2002-03 season and 3.5 blocks per game the previous campaign. 

Wallace has been a beast on the glass and in the shot-blocking department, but he's offered very little offense. He's averaged just six points per game for his career and has never averaged more than 9.7 PPG in any of his 16 seasons.

Is Wallace Hall of Fame worthy?

There's probably a slew of fans in Detroit that would say yes, but there's also quite a few people in the rest of the country that would disagree when looking at Wallace's offensive stats.

Sure, former Piston Dennis Rodman is now in the Hall of Fame. He was known for his defense, but he only averaged double figures in scoring one season in his entire career. However, he led the league in rebounding seven times compared to Wallace's two. Plus, Rodman was a key member of five championship teams.    

Wallace, currently in his second stint with the Pistons, announced that this will be his last season in the NBA. 

A few years from now, we just might witness him making a stop in Springfield.

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