With 1:23 left in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Rasheed Wallace sunk a three pointer from 24 feet that would bring the Celtics to within three points of the Lakers. It would be his last shot in the NBA.
Rasheed will be known as one of the most dynamic players of the last ten years with his defensive prowess yet ability to drain baskets from down town. He amassed over 7,000 rebounds in his career and over 1,000 three pointers. He could perform on any part of the court. He could block your shot before dunking it in your face.
His in-game outbursts and sheer attitude will go down in history as well. Rasheed was ejected 25 times in his 15-year career. He was T’ed up 313 times. He helped bring the bad boy image back to Detroit when he was paired up with Ben Wallace in one of the most dominating frontcourts. He was instrumental in the naming of the Portland “Jail Blazers.”
His predictions have made the term “guaransheed” a very well-known reference. We even believed that God spoke to him through the bald spot in his head. What God was telling Rasheed, we will never know.
After their title win in 2004, the Detroit Pistons turned from winners to a team that couldn’t put the last nail in the coffin. The Miami Heat learned how to beat them and would go on to win in the Finals. LeBron James figured them out as well in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The names we once feared grew old as Big Ben lost his dominating aura and Richard Hamilton’s three just wasn’t the dagger it once was. We have written about it and come to the conclusion that a mixture of age, apathy and Joe Dumars’ ability to further convince both us and himself and growth is on the way were tearing the team apart from the inside. When Chauncey Billups was shipped off to Denver to renew his career, Allen Iverson brought his curse and the final nail to Detroit. Instead of helping them seal another ring, it just helped secure this franchises’ coffin.
That three didn’t win Boston the game. It will be forgotten in what turned out to be a very forgettable year for this NBA veteran. Sheed saw his worst averages of his career last season in Boston in a system he never really fit in as he tried one last time to get another ring. We wont remember him for his 2009-10 season but we will remember this soon-to-be legend of the NBA.
The NBA is a constant drama of good guys and bad guys battling through each other’s greed, egos and even injuries to reach the pinnacle that is an NBA ring. Sheed got his and more. This likeable character brought comedic relief to the sport and let us know that there is time to laugh and then there’s time to win.