As the talk about Ben Wallace returning to Detroit grows, I'd like to take a look at some of his past teams and career. This could be Ben's homecoming, back to the place where he was an All-Star and an NBA Champion.
I for one, as a Pistons fan, would love to have Wallace back in Detroit, where he can end his career. It would be a good end to a great career. I would hope every other fan would welcome him back.
So enough talk, let's take a look at his younger days as he moved from team to team. Enjoy the slide!
Wallace went undrafted in 1996 and moved to Italy to play there.
He had a decent contract and would have been on a good Italy team, but his dream, was to play in the NBA.
Wallace spent a few weeks in Italy, playing for Reggio Calabria, before joining the Washington Bullets in the NBA. The Bullets signed Wallace in October 1996...the place where his dream became a reality.
Wallace was never drafted by an NBA Team. He was signed by the Bullets in October 1996 and stayed in Washington for three seasons.
His playing time and scoring/rebounding averages increased every year, as he emerged from a bench-warmer (5.8 minutes in 1997) to a valuable sixth man (26.8 minutes and 8.3 rebounds in 1999).
His scoring average went from 1.1 (.348 percent) to 6.0 (.578 percent), which was a significant increase. Which only leaves me wondering, why did they trade him away to the Magic?
Wallace was traded to Orlando, where he played during the 2000 season. Wallace was traded to the the Magic along with Tim Legler, Terry Davis, and Jeff McInnis for Ike Austin.
Ike Austin? Who's that again? Why they ever made that trade is beyond me.
Playing 24 minutes on average, he scored 4.8 points (.503 percent)and had eight rebounds. It was also the first year he averaged better than 40 percent free throw shooting. His career didn't last long in Orlando; though, as he was a one year wonder.
On August 3, 2000, he was traded along with Chucky Atkins to the Detroit Pistons for Grant Hill, in what was at the time considered a one-sided trade.
Hill had planned to sign with Orlando as an unrestricted free agent, but the sign and trade deal allowed Hill to receive a slightly more lucrative contract, while Detroit received at least some compensation for losing its marquee player.
Though many people said the trade was lopsided, it really worked out to help Detroit way more than the Magic. Wallace was a vital part of the championship team, while Hill didn't help either team do much.
Wallace was a starter from day one for the Pistons.
They loved everything about him, his toughness, rebounding ability, and mostly his amazing defense. He was short for his position, but that didn't matter because he made up for it in hustle and desire.
After being traded to the Pistons, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in the 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, and 2005-06 seasons. He was selected to six All-Defensive teams.
In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, he led the league in both rebounds and blocked shots, the first to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon. In 2003, he was voted by fans to the first of his four NBA All-Star Game appearances, as a center for the Eastern Conference.
With the Pistons, he broke tons of records for the team and the NBA. He was loved by all the fans and was a huge part of there NBA Championship.
I think Wallace should be welcomed back if they ask him to sign.
The news was out, "Big Ben" would be leaving Detroit for the Windy City.
The Pistons had offered him four years at $46 million, but he called that disappointing. Let's make a note that he would have been the highest paid player on the Pistons' roster.
I might of said he was valuable to there success which is true, but do I think he was worth more than any of their other starters? Not at all, he shouldn't have been the highest paid.
On July 3, 2006, Wallace agreed to a four-year deal with the Chicago Bulls,worth $60 million. He said his goodbyes to his beloved fans and moved on.
During his two-year run in Chicago, Wallace battled with various knee injuries and averaged 5.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game.
In a complex, 11-player swap involving Cleveland, Chicago, and Seattle, Ferry dealt half of his active roster to acquire Wallace and forward Joe Smith from the Bulls, and forward Wally Szczerbiak and guard Delonte West from the SuperSonics.
Following the trade, Wallace played in 22 regular season games (all starts). In 26.3 minutes, he averaged 4.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. In 72 total regular season games, Wallace averaged 4.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Wallace had a Cavalier regular season high of 12 points on February 24, 2008 against the Memphis Grizzlies, and had regular season Cavalier highs of 15 rebounds against the Charlotte Bobcats and four blocks against the Orlando Magic.
On November 25, 2008, Wallace grabbed his 9,000th career rebound and blocked his 1,900th career shot.
I never understood the 11-player trade.
The Cavs didn't get much out of it and they could have kept Gooden instead of Wallace. BigBen could never help LeBron get that championship he had always wanted and still does.
This summer Wallace was traded to the Phoenix Suns along with others to acquire Shaq.
Ben Wallace, acquired by the Suns in the trade that sent Shaquille O'Neal to the Cavaliers, has been bought out of his contract, the Arizona Republic reported.
According to the report, the team agreed to pay Wallace $10 million for a contract that would have paid him $14 million in 2009-10.
Wallace, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year in 2006, was hampered by injuries last season and has said he is considering retirement.
There have been numerous talks about where Wallace will go now, or what he will do. So far the possibilities I have heard are a return to the Pistons, Cavs, or retirement.
The Cavs want to sign him to the veterans minimum to help mentor the younger guys and be the third man on the depth chart for center and power forward.
Meaning, he wouldn't get a lot of playing time unless someone was hurt, which would be the reason why the Cavs want him. He's a good veteran when he's healthy.
The Pistons have also talked about bringing back the hometown hero, but will the contract offer be yet again disappointing? The Pistons at this stage can only offer the veterans minimum and I'm sure that's all they would offer anyways.
He would probably be the No. 2 center and the third power forward for them. He would definitely get more playing time if he went to Detroit, rather than Cleveland, but I'm not sure that's what he wants.
He might also just retire and move on with his life. Which would be okay, because he has had a great career.
I'd like to highlight some of his great career with my last two slides.
Ben Wallace has had a great career.
From Junior College to Virginia Union to undrafted to finally joining the NBA. Let's take a look at some of his greatest achievements.
NBA Champion: 2004
Four-time NBA All-Star: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006
Six-time All-NBA Defensive Team:
First Team: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Second Team: 2007
Second Team: 2003, 2004, 2006
Third Team: 2002, 2005
Two-time NBA regular-season leader, rebounds per game: 2002 (13.0), 2003 (15.4)
NBA regular-season leader, blocks per game: 2002 (3.5)
Two-time NBA regular-season leader, total rebounds: 2001 (1052), 2003 (1026)
NBA regular-season leader, total defensive rebounds: 2001 (749)
Two-time NBA regular-season leader, total offensive rebounds: 2003 (293), 2006 (301)
NBA regular-season leader, total blocks: 2002 (278)
Only player in NBA history to record 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks, and 100 steals in four consecutive seasons (2001-04).
One of three players in NBA history to record 150 blocks and 100 steals in seven consecutive seasons (2001-07) (along with Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson).
One of five players in NBA history to lead the NBA in rebounding and blocking averages in the same season (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Dwight Howard).
One of three players in NBA history to average 15 rebounds and three blocks per game over a season (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo).
Only undrafted player in NBA history to be voted a starter for the NBA All-Star Game.
One of two players in NBA history to receive NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times (along with Dikembe Mutombo).
Ben Wallace's Pistons records:
Most blocked shots, all-time: 1,297 (2000–2006)
Most blocked shots in:
one game: 10 (Nov. 10, 2002 vs. Miami Heat)
one half: seven (Feb. 1, 2003 vs. New Jersey Nets)
one quarter: 5 (March 10, 2002 vs. Indiana Pacers)
one season: 278 (2001-02)
Highest blocks-per-game average, one season: 3.48 (2001-02)
Most defensive rebounds, one quarter: 10 (November 18, 2002 vs. New York Knicks).
Most rebounds, one half, playoffs: 17 (Game Four, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round)
Most rebounds, one quarter, playoffs: 13 (Game Four, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round)
Most offensive rebounds, one game, playoffs: 11 (Game Three, 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals)
Most offensive rebounds, one half, playoffs: seven (Game Three, 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals)
Most defensive rebounds, one game, playoffs: 17 (Game One, 2003 Eastern Conference Finals)
Most defensive rebounds, one half, playoffs: 12 (Game One, 2003 Eastern Conference Finals)
Most defensive rebounds, one quarter, playoffs: 9 (Game One, 2003 Eastern Conference Finals)
Most steals, one game, playoffs: seven (Game 4, 2003 Eastern Conference First Round)
These accomplishments are pretty big, especially considering the people he beat for these awards like the Bad Boys of Detroit.