On Friday afternoon, the Pistons announced that they have agreed to a one-year deal with Ben Wallace for $1.3 million to bring him back to the place where he first made a household name of himself. Ben Wallace is expected to officially sign next week.
This brings me to a new segment of the blog that I'll probably only use this once because I'm borrowing it from Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers...Really!?!
/getting into character....
Really, Joe Dumars!?! You just signed a 35-year old, whose rebound and block totals (the only two things he's good for), not to mention games played, have dropped significantly since 2006. Really!?! I thought the Pistons were moving forward? Acquiring Ben Wallace was so 2000. Ben Wallace back to Detroit? Then I want Grant Hill back too.
I understand he was one of the most instrumental pieces to Detroit winning a championship in 2004, and for that I'm very grateful, but does no one remember that he bailed to Detroit's rival, the Chicago Bulls in 2006 just so he could purchase more expensive headbands and 'fro picks? Really, Detroit!?!
So Ben Wallace won't play many minutes and will mentor the youngsters on defense. Really!?! You think Ben Wallace is going to be a leader after all his recent down years? He didn't even have the respect of the Bulls players immediately after six great seasons with Detroit. Not only that, but Bulls and Cavs media have both stated that he's never been vocal in the lockerroom and that his body language often implied he was the anti-leader. Really!?!
If the Pistons were looking to sign a quiet leader, they probably should have decided to go with someone who will play a lot and be able to talk with his actions. Has anyone really heard Ben Wallace speak? Really!?! Okay, okay, he speaks, but I recently re-watched an interview of Big Ben and sure enough he says, "I don't want to be telling guys do this, do that, I just want to go out there and just do it." Really!?! That's going to be pretty tough to do when you're backing up Kwame Brown.
Just months ago this graying afro-man was still recovering from a broken leg, probably the most important part of the body for a defensive minded player who needs to jump. I'd say using it to jump for rebounds and blocks is pretty important, especially when you're already under-sized for your position. Good leg or no good leg, how "into it" can we really expect him to be? The guy was mulling retirement no longer than three months ago. Really!?!
How should we react to this signing? Is the Gong noise going to creek now? And are "Fear the 'Fro" nights going to have less and more gray hair in the wigs? What's to become of the rebound row? He won't be getting rows of rebounds anymore, so maybe we should change it to Rebound Rolaids. I mean, really!?!
Hopefully, for the Pistons' sake, Ben Wallace listens to all the people who dislike this move and translates it into the hard work he put in originally with the team. Nobody said he could be good and he had a lot to prove. I hope he hears the people saying he's too old now and he puts in the same effort.
(And if you had no idea what "Really!?!" is then watch the following clip from SNL. It's a lot funnier than this post:)
(h/t to reader Jake for the idea)