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Rasheed Wallace

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Rasheed Abdul Wallace (born September 17 1974) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. He currently plays power forward for the Detroit Pistons. At 213 cm (6 ft 11in) and 104.3 kg (230 lb), Wallace plays power forward or center depending on the opposition.

Originally selected out of the University of North Carolina by the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards) in the 1995 NBA Draft, Wallace was named to the All-Rookie second team following his first season. Following the same season he and Harvey Grant were traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Rod Strickland and Kevin Duckworth. He had a career high 42 points against the Denver Nuggets in 2000 and was a key member of the Blazers team that made it to the Western Conference Finals that same year. Wallace had a career best 19.4 points per game in 2002 for the Blazers.

In 2004 Rasheed Wallace helped power the Detroit Pistons to the NBA title and obtained his first championship ring. In Detroit, Wallace has become known for selfless team play and integrated with Ben Wallace to form the core of the Pistons' smothering defensive game. He dubbed the duo "Wallace x 2" shortly after he arrived in Detroit in 2004.

Early years編輯

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wallace was named after Harun al-Rashid, the famous Abbasid caliph during their Golden Age. He began his basketball career in Philadelphia and attended Simon Gratz High school. He was named USA Today High School Player of the Year after the 1992-93 season and was selected first team All America by Basketball Times. Despite limited playing time of just 19 minutes per game, Wallace still managed to average 16 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks during his senior year. In addition to basketball, Wallace also ran track and high jumped as a teenager.

College編輯

University of North Carolina then-coach Dean Smith lured Wallace to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for his college years. Smith was a revered mentor to Wallace as he was to Wallace's eventual Detroit coach Larry Brown; Wallace has indicated that this North Carolina bond with Brown helped Wallace adjust quickly to the Piston system. During his time at Carolina, Wallace had success in the national spotlight. Named a second-team All-American by the AP his second year, Wallace ranks as the leading career field goal shooter in Atlantic Coast Conference history with a .635 percentage.

Wallace helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA Final Four in 1995. He left North Carolina to enter the 1995 NBA Draft after his sophomore season. Wallace was selected in the 1st round, the 4th pick overall by the Washington Bullets.

NBA career編輯

Washington Bullets編輯

As a rookie with the Washington Bullets, Wallace played in 65 games, of which he started 51. While mostly playing power forward, he also gained experience in the center position although being physically overmatched. Wallace was selected to the rookie team for the All-Star Weekend. Later that year, he fractured his left thumb during a game against Orlando and could not return until the following year.

Wallace scored 655 points during his rookie season at Washington. He played 1,788 minutes.

Portland Trail Blazers編輯

After the season, Wallace was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, a move that proved beneficial for both sides. He led the Blazers in scoring 12 times, and also ranked third in the league in field goal percentage. Unfortunately, just as his season was gaining momentum, Wallace again broke his left thumb--ironically in a game against the Bullets--and was forced to miss the next month of the season, but he returned in time for a strong performance in the first round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the Blazers losing the series, Wallace's play was a bright spot that gave Blazer fans something to look forward to in 97-98.

His next season was one of many highs. The young superstar signed a long term contract to stay with the Portland Trail Blazers. He was showcased as the team's all-around player on a club with many specialists. He began extending himself into the community more than ever, most notably with his Rasheed Wallace Foundation, but his career suffered from numerous missteps on and off the court. Wallace was also suspended by the NBA for seven games for threatening an official on an arena loading dock after a home game. That was the league's longest suspension for something that didn't involve physical contact or substance abuse.

Wallace was named an NBA All-Star in 1999 and 2000 and led the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals both seasons, losing to the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers, respectively. Both teams would go on to win the NBA Finals. The 2000 series against the Lakers was most noted for the Blazers blowing a 13 point lead going into the fourth quarter of game 7. Wallace would never again experience that level of success with Portland.

Atlanta Hawks / Detroit Pistons編輯

After some mediocre years, Wallace was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, who after playing one game dealt him to the Detroit Pistons in a three-way trade. He established himself as a regular starter. Detroit fans are so taken with Wallace they chant 'SHEED' when he touches the ball--the result is a loud, low murmur. After falling behind against the Indiana Pacers in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, he stated boldly in an interview that "They will not win game 2", a promise he helped fulfill, starting the popular phrase "Guaran-sheed". He helped them win an unexpected NBA title, beating the heavily favored Lakers 4 games to 1. After the championship season, he paid for replica World Heavyweight Championship belts to be made for each of his teammates and presented them as gifts when the next season's training started.

In the off-season following the Piston's championship win, Rasheed Wallace signed a 5-year, $57 million contract to remain in Detroit.

Throughout the 2004-05 season, Wallace often carried the belt into his locker before games to inspire the Pistons' title defense. He had several notable moments in the playoffs. After the second-round elimination of the Pacers, Wallace played his best series of the postseason in the Eastern Conference finals against the top-seeded Miami Heat. After falling behind again, he again "guaranteed success". He shot a 50% field goal percentage and averaged 14.5 points a game in the series' seven games, and saved his hottest-shooting night for the decisive Game 7. Against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, Wallace's tenacious defense and clutch shooting helped the Pistons to split the series 3-3, but in the last game, the Pistons lost 81-74.

On February 9, 2006, Wallace was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas as a reserve forward for the Eastern Conference.

Player profile編輯

As of 2006, Wallace is one of the most versatile power forwards in today's game. He is a legitimate two-way threat, being tough on defense and potent on offense.

On defense, Wallace has established himself as a smothering post presence, playing with great intensity and forming one of the great defensive frontcourts with Ben Wallace. Because of his height, athleticism and long arms, he is considered notoriously hard to post up against. He has established himself as a perennial NBA All-Defensive Team candidate.

On offense, he is capable of making almost any play, from a slam dunk to a long 3-point jump shot. Earlier in his career, he had mostly been a low post weapon, with an arsenal of moves reminiscent of another low post artist, Hakeem Olajuwon, but later added a solid midrange shot and even extended his range beyond the arc. Rasheed Wallace has credited his years at North Carolina in becoming a technically and fundamentally sound player.

Wallace is a controversial player. Earlier in his career he regularly led the NBA in technical fouls. In 2005-06, Wallace led the league in technical fouls with 16.

Wallace's missteps off the court included marijuana possession, use of abusive language, and driving without a driver's license [1] [2] [3]. It must be noted, however, that Wallace has vastly improved his behavior on and off the court since joining the Pistons. But there is still a wounded look that he gets on his face when he disagrees with an official. Wallace's teammates have nearly universally praised his presence in the locker room, and his image has been rehabilitated somewhat since coming to Detroit. Wallace himself attributed this to the fact that he didn't feel the pressure of having to lead a young team like he did in Portland. In addition, Wallace participates in various community activities. The Rasheed A. Wallace Foundation [4] was established in 1997 to assist in the recreational and educational development of youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Portland, Oregon, Durham, North Carolina, and other selected communities.

Trivia編輯

External links編輯

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