We all knew it was going to happen. But not quite like this. The Boston Celtics have officially waived Rasheed Wallace after apparently coming to an understanding and after which, Wallace plans to retire. So he signs with Boston as a free agent in 2009, works his green behind off to help the club make it to the NBA Finals and gets a "Sorry, Rasheed. We can't use you or realistically get anything for you" speech and a "good luck to you and your family". Really? I know what you are saying - me of all people defending Rasheed Wallace's send off into the great NBA sunset. But when a player like him retires, it should be him going to his employer and saying, "it's time" not debating with them while trying to squeeze out whatever is left. This guy has been around the league. In 1995, he was selected fourth overall by the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards), traded to Portland and made it to the Western Conference Final in 1999 and 2000. Then he gets bumped to the Hawks for one game before he is traded to Detroit, then eventually leaves as a free agent for Boston. Remember, over the course of his career he's been an all-star rookie and beyond and has contributed a lot to the league over last 15 years. Sure, he'd probably trade in his 'all-time leader in technical fouls' record for a couple of championship rings but the way he's hanging up his sneakers is taking away from his legacy a little. Let's hope Shaquille O'Neil fairs better this year. Yes, the retiree rumour mill is swarming him too. Let's chat about this, Tracey McGrady in Detroit and the major scandal brewing in Indiana. (I'm leaving that one to the end on purpose).
The Shaq attack in Boston
I love Shaquille O'Neil. I have enjoyed following and covering his career since his days in Orlando. I remember when someone gave me a free poster illustrating his "you can't fake the funk on a nasty dunk" move and not thinking I'd ever see him in a Celtics uniform. But stranger things have happened in the NBA and while this move did not garner as much attention as the three kings in Miami, I think the Celtics are going to be the team to watch this season. Remember, no one expected them to go as far as they did in the post season against the Lakers and with Shaq's size and presence, the Celtics could have another stellar season. What I think is kind of funny in all of this is his desire to win one more championship before he retires. Really? Who would have thought that a talented player with a lot to offer would want to leave one team for another, to be in a better situation in which to win a championship? And why should he or any other player be prevented from doing so? If you have always wanted to work with certain people or a certain organization and you can see the end is coming, why not switch gears? Remember, he's been in the league so long he played against Hall of Famer Kevin McHale so he gets where the Celtics came from. So since he's asking for help from the fans for a new nick-name, what should the Shaq vs. star be referred to? Not sure but I know the rumours surrounding Steve Nash and Shaq on the idea for the show still mount. I have watched the show many times - not anything to really write home about but Shaq makes the show (not sure if Nash would make it any different or better).
The Pistons welcome Tracy McGrady
It's official - Tracey McGrady signed a one-year, $1.3 million dollar contract Monday with the Detroit Pistons. At 31 years old, he's played 65 games over 2 years battling knee and back injuries. My opinion? He should be glad he's got a job. I am sure the Pistons will enjoy having him in Detroit but signing him to a one-year contract and expecting him to lead a bunch of young players? Let's just say it seems their confidence in him and his health are not 100% full proof. Even in the interviews he's done after the announcement was made, HE doesn't even sound 100% full proof about himself. More of a cautiously optimistic attitude and glad someone took a chance on him. He's admitting he can't dunk like he used to and discussing other faults before the things he knows he's capable of. This tells us he is still plagued by injuries which way heavily on his mind and for us not to expect too much from him. Just be happy he's still here.
Please say it isn't so
I really hope this isn't true. Indiana Pacers draft pick Lance Stephenson allegedly pushed his girlfriend down a flight of stairs, then grabbed her head and hit it on the bottom step. He was charged with assault and released without bail late Sunday night. According to witnesses at the scene, Stephenson's girlfriend Jasmine Williams was coming home with two friends to find Stephenson waiting for her at 5am. He allegedly said, "Are you kidding me?" and proceeded to push her down the stairs in a jealous fit of rage. When police arrived, he claims she fell all on her own. When asked for comment, Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird said it was disappointing to the franchise and to him personally but is still waiting to hear all the facts. Although part of me wishes this weren't true, experience and evidence say otherwise. What worries me the most is not so much that he was released without bail (the prosecution was asking for $7, 500) but the safety of the victim and those witnesses. I'm glad Larry Bird took it personal because in my mind, if Stephenson is found guilty and this is all true, he should not be allowed to play. And if he is allowed to play? A REAL reason to burn someone's jersey.
Basketball Beyond the Floor
Remember to join me here on the DNB this Thursday when we will be discussing A View from Above by and about Wilt Chamberlain. Still working on a flick pick for you as well. Until then, happy reading and see you on Thursday.