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Public Defender #1
‘PUBLIC’ DEFENDER #1 BEN WALLACE
AND STILL CHAMP
has one Record
he can do Without
He is the Worst
Free Throw Player
in NBA history
( 42% )
The fact that no one really cares says Volumes about Ben Wallace’s true talent. He is one of the great Defensive players in the history of the Game. He was just named Defensive Player of the Year for the 4th time. 4 out of the last 5 years, and he was the winner last season.
It is easy to be lulled into feeling Basketball is all about Offense when it isn’t any more than football or baseball in their own ways. And no student of the Game doubts Wallace’s remarkable Defensive skills have played a big role in Detroit being the reigning NBA Champions. With a clear shot at another Title this season.
Wallace is also another of those players in sports who succeed in spectacular fashion who were never drafted. In college he played for a community college then a Division II college and was signed as a free agent by the Washington Bullets in 1966. After a stint playing basketball in another country that loves the game Italy.
Wallace claims the basis of his talent is growing up in rural Alabama with 7 older brothers who towered over him and gave him few chances to shoot. Whether apocryphal or true Big Ben intimidates every team in the NBA with his play.
After 10 seasons in the League Wallace is regarded as among the best Defensive players ever. Assured of his future selection to the NBA Hall of Fame to join Defensive Greats including Bobby Jones, Dave DeBusschere, Scottie Pipen, Dikembe Mutombo and Tim Duncan among others known for their Defense. And of course Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, even Dennis Rodman ?
Here is how Wallace describes himself
“ I’m not on this floor because I’m a great scorer, because I’m a great free-throw shooter. It’s because I’m out there to defend, get stops, make it tough for guys to score. To win four out of five times, its a great feeling. Its what I do, its what I take most pride in.”
Wallace dominated the Defensive Player voting with 420 points and 58 first place votes to the Spurs; Bruce Bowen with 308 points and 38 first place votes. This season he had a career high almost 2 steals per game, over 11 rebounds and more than 2 blocks on average per game. His scoring is another matter. He averaged all of 7.3 points a game which is still above his career average and he was 0 for 4 in three point baskets. in his entire 10 year career he has shot all of 34 three point baskets and made 4. Combine that with the worst Free Throw record in NBA history.
And his Offensive stats
there isn’t an NBA team
that wouldn’t take Wallace
in a Heart Beat
While famous for his wild Afro in Detroit in fact Wallace never wears his hair in that style on the road instead playing in cornrows. Basically because he grew tired of fans on the road heckling him for his big hair. Back at home another difference he clearly notices is the sound of a giant bell played when Wallace scores ot makes a great defensive play. Far more often for Defensive plays.
More accolades for Ben Wallace Defensive Champ.
The only player in NBA history with 1000 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in 4 consecutive seasons. One of only 3 players in NBA history to be responsible for 150 blocks and 100 steals in 6 consecutive seasons ….
…… and one of only 4 players in NBA history to lead the NBA in the same season in rebounding and blocking averages. And how about this the ONLY undrafted player in NBA history to be voted a starter in the NBA All Star Game. Enough !
Like most NBA players he has a life off the Court centered around hunting, fishing and swimming. And his 3 year old son Bryce. Wallace also has one of the best collection of radio controlled model cars in the nation. You might even call it his passion. He has 120 at last count and he has assembled every single one himself.
For the rest of us
watching Wallace play
Basketball is Plenty
leave the model cars
Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box …….
THE CLASSIC BEN WALLACE LOOK