OT-Ben Wallace GP Record

Submitted by gajensen on February 15th, 2012 at 3:41 AM

On Valentine's Day, Ben Wallace set a record for the most games played by an undrafted player (since the NBA/ABA merger in 76).  

In a near-upset loss to the Spurs, he got five rebounds, a steal, a block, and even hit two jumpers-including a three pointer!

The guy is an NBA champion, a four time defensive player of the year, has made four all-star games (starting in two), and now has the unique distinction of unusual longevity.  You've gotta give it up to the guy.



February 15th, 2012 at 10:22 AM ^

The Bulls could afford to pay him what he was worth on the open market.  The Pistons either didn't think he was worth that much or couldn't afford to pay him.  Wallace really hadn't been paid in the upper range before that, and he really had to take the money.  

What's really funny is that most people who criticize athletes for taking multi-million dollar raises to jump teams are very excited if they have a chance to change jobs for as much as a $5,000 raise.  

The NBA is a business.  Ben Wallace got a lot bigger contract in Chicago than he ever would have gotten in Detroit.  It sucked from a Pistons fan perspective, but I would blame the system more than the individual here.  I can't imagine him not coming under a lot of peer and agent pressure to take the money so as not to set a precedent of accepting less.  

Agents and professional players' associations don't like it when a player takes less money because they are afraid it will drive salaries down.  There is no way he was going to give a "home team discount" without becoming a pariah among his peers.  

Besides, if Joe had only taken Carmelo Anthony instead of committing the Darko Debacle, there would have been one or two more championships to celebrate, and you wouldn't have cared about the move.


February 15th, 2012 at 4:27 AM ^

Your spam is considered a post. So it should be nice thread. Your post would be called a shitty post.

Or is post acceptable when referring to a thread? And should I be calling what I call posts, comments? 

These are the things I think of when I refuse to sleep.

restive neb

February 15th, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

that his comment was about Ben Wallace's proficiency on the low block on the offensive end of the court, hence "nice post."  At least, that's how I'm choosing to interpret it.

Edit:  Apparently the guy got the banhammer (deservedly so).  Now the question is why people are classifying my post as "flaimbait."  It makes me wonder if the people rating my post/comment even know what that means.  This post should clearly be labeled as "overrated."


February 15th, 2012 at 7:24 AM ^

an incredible career, considering he was an undrafted free agent from Virginia Union University. He was the heart and soul of the 04 championship team. He was however an abomination offensively.

 I don't blame him for leaving for Chicago. They offered him a ridiculous contract, and it was quite obvious would probably be his last Big payday. He did what was best for him and his family.

 Congrats to him on the record though. Im pleased he did it in a Pistons uniform.


February 15th, 2012 at 8:25 AM ^

accomplishment! I realize he is getting a little long in the tooth by professional basketball standards, but for those of us who rememeber him in his youth, this guy was truely a freak. That size and that quickness. Almost Rodman-esk in his quick hops for rebounding. He was also, for the most part, one of the hardest working guys on the team night in and night out.


February 15th, 2012 at 8:50 AM ^

but leaving the Pistons was a mistake for him.  He was going to get a big pay day anyway, sure, a bit more in Chicago, but it was not worth what it meant for his career and for the Pistons and his legacy with the team.  That team could have won another title, and Ben's game was a Piston product, you take the Pistons at the time out of Ben Wallace and you get what you got in Chicago, a very ineffective, undersized tweener with no direction on the court.  The decision also did stain his legacy here, and I believe was a major factor in the unraveling of the Pistons franchise.  If he had to do it all over again I guarantee he stays.


February 15th, 2012 at 9:14 AM ^

The Pistons were willing to give himan average of 12 million over 4 years, which was their final offer.  His first year in Chicago he made 16 million, for a total of 60 over 4.  That extra 12 million goes a long way.

I have no problems with a player leaving a franchise that was willing to pay him below market value despite him vastly outperforming his previous contract, all while having a coach with conflicting philosophies (Flip Saunders).  All that is important to me is his return and finish with the Pistons, especially in light of our current record and phase.


February 15th, 2012 at 9:30 AM ^

I am not hating on the guy.  If the bottom line is the first priority he made the right move.  However, it did take him from "Piston legend Ben Wallace" to "the guy that won a title with the Pistons and then floundered for the remainder of his career."  That may make no difference to him, but decisions like that do have long-term effects in terms of perception and accolades i.e. numer retiring, hall of fame, etc.  Personally, I think it was the wrong move, but I could be wrong.

Mr Miggle

February 15th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

I think the bottom line for Ben was that everyone, including Pistons management, agreed he had been underpaid on his last contract. He was led to believe that they would make up for it on his new deal and that didn't happen. It sure looked like his loyalty to the team wasn't being returned. Under those circumstances it was really hard to think he was going to stay.

I don't think that was what the Pistons had planned. That Chicago offer was bigger than expected. But I think what ultimately happened is that the Piston's made a business decision based on the bottom line and Ben made one based on both his feelings and the bottom line. I find it hard to criticize either side. The Bulls, on the other hand...


February 15th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

career wise he shouldnt have left, but i dont think the Pistons and their philosophies made Ben Wallace. Ben Wallace's work ethic and drive made Ben Wallace. He would have been successful anywhere in his prime years. I think if he would have resigned with Detroit, he would of still been on the decline we seen in Chicago. Maybe not quite as severe, but a steep decline none the less. Then all we would have heard about is what a bad signing Joe D made, and he should have seen it coming.

Him leaving worked out for the Pistons. They didnt have another championship in that team. other teams rose up. Their last championship was the one they gave away to San Antonio in 05.

The Shredder

February 15th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

I think you are really kidding yourself if you think the Pistons could have won another title if he stayed. By the time Chicago got him he was a shell of himself. His decline hit that season and hit hard. The Pistons blew their chances vs the Spurs in game 7 for another title.

The Pistons were right to let him walk. With his age and the money he wanted it was the right call. As a Bulls fan he set us back a few years but I don't fault the man for taking the Bulls over blown offer. Paxson blew his load and the Bulls paid for it. 


February 15th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

was a shell of himself because the Bulls got him.  As I said, you take the Pistons out of Ben Wallace and you don't have much.

As for another title, I think Lebron would have had a little trouble getting to the hoop as easily in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals the following year with Ben around the rim waiting on him.  That team was not washed up and neither was he.  They just needed each other to make it work.


February 15th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

I disagree.  Teams know what they're getting with offensively-challenged-yet-specialist-bigmen.  

Most teams have one:
ATL-Jason Collins, a starter for most of his career (somehow)
BOS/OKC-Kendrick Perkins
CHA-Bismack Biyombo picked #7
CHI-Joakim Noah
CLE-Anderson Varejao
DAL-Brendan Haywood
LAC-Reggie Evans
NYK-Tyson Chandler
POR-Marcus Camby
TOR-Amir Johnson
PHO-Robin Lopez
SAN-DeJuan Blair
SAC-Chuck Hayes

and so on.  Most of these guys are starters and all are 4th/5th options on their particular team and would likely be elsewhere.

By definition these guys should be self-starters with universal skill-sets that aren't system specific.  Shame on any coach that wouldn't let these guys play their game and contribute with man or help defense, rebounding, and shot-blocking.


February 15th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Besides Camby's rookie year, none of those guys have ever put up more than 12 a season.  Some of them may have flashed more skill than Wallace (Blair, for instance, is highly-skilled), put even then they were 4th or 5th options who scored in the single digits as often as double.

But yes.  Ben is strange because he can make his free throws in practice and always displayed range during warmups, but he had butterfingers/stonehands/airballitis in games.

The Shredder

February 15th, 2012 at 12:03 PM ^

Lets not act like he some high skilled player. He was very athletic player who did the dirty work. No teams X and O scheme is going to stop him from rebounding and blocking shots. The only thing that will is his age and losing a step. That is what happened. I watch almost all the Bulls games and his explosion was gone.

Check his stats. All his numbers fall off from 06-07 to now. His prime was 00-06. The bulls got a 32 year old undersized big man whos best years were behind him.  


Oh and game 5 and Lebron.... No one was stopping him that night. NO ONE. 


February 15th, 2012 at 8:37 AM ^

He was my favorite player on those Pistons "dynasty" teams. I'll never forget him for his huge afro, his love for his team, and his part in the Malice at the Palace.


February 15th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

Is it sad I know where I was when news of that broke? Basement of a friends house @ GVSU playing beer pong with his roomates/my eventual wife.  That was a good weekend all things considered. 


February 15th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

that dude! I remember in his first round with the Pistons there was a regular season game where he scored 20 something points (a rarity for him) and in a post game interview he said he was an offensive juggernaut and he played defense in his spare time. Classic!

On a side note, I would pay to see him and Shaq have a free throw contest.



February 15th, 2012 at 11:52 AM ^

It's cool how this kind of thing has been going around lately.  Jason Hanson set the record for most NFL games with one team, and Nick Lidstrom has the rather convoluted record that, of NHL players to only play with one franchise, he has the most games.  (Though that's less of a thing - he needs another year and change to pass Gordie Howe for most games with one franchise, period.)

I Bleed Maize N Blue

February 15th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

If Lidstrom has the desire and ability to keep playing at the same level, I wouldn't mind seeing him stick around for a couple more years.  I also want the WIngs to win more Stanley Cups, but I wonder if he'd retire after winning another.

Congrats to Big Ben.  I remember how contemptuous Shaq was of him guarding him 1-on-1, and he'd get his early, but then he'd gas, Ben would push him a little farther out so he'd shoot short, and Ben would get the rebounds.  And the Pistons won the championship.