Kevin Garnett Explains How Rasheed Wallace Will Influence Anthony Davis and Lakers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 13, 2022

Detroit Pistons assistant coach Rasheed Wallace looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett said Rasheed Wallace is a "great" addition to the Los Angeles Lakers' staff under new head coach Darvin Ham.

Garnett described Wallace as "a genius and a mastermind" who will help Anthony Davis and LeBron James while discussing the hire Saturday (NSFW):

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"Rasheed is one of the best power forwards and players to play in our league... And he is nothing below a genius and a mastermind."\ <a href="https://twitter.com/KevinGarnett5KG?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KevinGarnett5KG</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KGCertified?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KGCertified</a> presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/BetMGM?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BetMGM</a>: <a href="https://t.co/gVAboqDmW7">https://t.co/gVAboqDmW7</a><a href="https://twitter.com/Lakers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Lakers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LakeShow?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LakeShow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> <a href="https://t.co/wxALE1miFx">pic.twitter.com/wxALE1miFx</a>

It was clear throughout the 2021-22 season, which saw the Lakers miss the playoffs with a 33-49 record, that the franchise could use an infusion of energy. Things have trended consistently in the wrong direction since they captured the 2020 NBA title.

Wallace should provide that. He was a fiery competitor throughout a 16-year NBA career that included four All-Star selections and a championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

Since his 2013 retirement, he's gained coaching experience at every level of basketball, with stops at Charles E. Jordan High School in North Carolina, the University of Memphis and the Pistons.

In 2020, Wallace said on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast (via Gilbert McGregor of Sporting News) that he wasn't sure LeBron would have been as dominant in previous generations.

"I don't think he would be as successful as he is now," Wallace said. "It's a whole different era back then. I couldn't necessarily say that he would've been a beast, but I think he would've held his own."

Those comments began to recirculate after he was hired by the Lakers, but they're unlikely to have a tangible impact on his relationship with the NBA's longtime gold standard.

Instead, Garnett, who embarked on numerous head-to-head battles with Wallace during their overlapping careers, thinks the 47-year-old Philadelphia native is "full of knowledge" that can help the Lakers.

L.A.'s roster still needs some work around the trio of James, Davis and Russell Westbrook, but so far the new coaching staff is generating mostly positive reviews.