Rasheed Wallace: No Apologies, No Regrets, No Stopping Him From Playing His Game

Nick Gelso@CLNS_NickCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2009

BOSTON - NOVEMBER 01:  Rasheed Wallace #30 of the Boston Celtics reacts after there is not a call against the New Orleans Hornets at the TD Garden on November 1, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  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 Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

My favorite non-Satanic Celtics anecdote of the past day comes from the Globe’s website, where Frank Dell’Apa touches briefly on Rasheed’s unceremonious departure from Friday’s loss to the Answer-less Sixers. When asked about the actions that led to his 10th technical of the season and an eventual ejection, Wallace was predictably unapologetic.

Is unapologetic the right word? Obdurate maybe? Aquiver with righteous indignation? You be the judge.

Per the Globe :

“You tell me,’’ Wallace said when asked if he was targeted. “I can say all I want about anybody. If they are standing right near our huddle trying to stick their nose in there, so yeah they are going to hear some stuff. And that’s exactly what it was. When have you ever seen a ref stand that close to our bench during a timeout?’’

When asked if he was angry with himself for being ejected, Wallace said, “Nah, not really. To answer your question honestly, I wasn’t. I still play my game. I ain’t changing my game for nobody.’’

My reaction to this is convoluted and, some might say, hypocritical, but here goes.

On the one hand, he was talking garbage about an official. His argument that the refs were looking for a reason to T him up is well-taken, but it ignores the fact that, in a vacuum, if you criticize an NBA referee on the court, you can expect to be penalized. Do plenty of guys get away with it? Sure.

But people get away with wrongdoing all the time in “the real world” only to be caught the next time. The fact that Wallace assumed he was safe because he was speaking in the huddle only illustrates further that he was in the wrong: if you have to go and say what you’re saying in secret, whatever you’re saying would be best filed away until after the game.

On the other, it’s pretty apparent to anyone who watches a lot of NBA action that the refs do actively go after certain players. Donaghy touched on this in regards to his betting: he claimed, among other things, that his knowledge of what officials had an axe to grind with certain players influenced the way said refs would officiate games to a degree that Donaghy was able to bet accordingly and clean up.

While Henry Abbott of TrueHoop demonstrated (pretty definitively, in my opinion) that there was either more to Donaghy’s methods than he disclosed or that the games he made money on weren’t the ones he points to in his book, it’s hard to deny that some refs have pretty openly visceral reactions to certain players, as was the case in the Iverson example cited on 60 Minutes.

There’s nothing particularly incendiary about that, unless you’re of the opinion that the NBA fixes (or, if you prefer, shapes) important games and series to maximize their earning potential...READ MORE

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