Coach Rasheed?

During Friday's game against Philly, I wrote in my halftime blog entry for HOOPSWORLD that Rasheed Wallace was active on the sidelines, despite being relegated to street clothes because of a knee injury:

It's a little strange to see Rasheed Wallace on the sidelines in street clothes. He's missed a few games over the years for Detroit, but usually it's been the result of a suspension, when he's not allowed in the building during the game. He's staying involved in the game, going all the way out to midcourt following timeouts to offer advice to Jason Maxiell. Just think, might he have a coaching career in his future? Stranger things have happened.

Turns out, the idea might not be so strange after all. In an interview with WDFN (and transcribed by the Detroit Free Press), Flip Saunders suggested the same thing:

I was talking with someone today, and I said, "This might sound crazy, but I think Rasheed has a lot of the ingredients to be a very good coach." If you can believe that.

He’s got a high basketball I.Q. He’s got an unbelievable amount of passion for the game. He’s a great competitor. He is a communicator. If he decides he wants to do something, he’ll go ahead and do it -- doesn’t care what the ramifications are as far as what people think about it. … I’m sure referees wouldn’t want to see him on the sidelines.

But he has, with Cheikh Samb and Amir -- he’s as critical of those guys, like in practice, saying to them, "If you guys can’t learn to play, you ain’t going to play." He communicates with them, but he gives them tough love at times too.

It's kind of hard for me to imagine Rasheed joining the other side, but hey, if Bill Laimbeer can do it, anything is possible. There's some other good stuff in the interview, such as Flip's reason as for why he got tossed:

I was a little bit surprised I did get tossed. It happened so quick. As I told somebody who called me that night -- we talked a little bit. … I said, "Usually when you get tossed that quick, it’s probably because you’re right and that you’ve gotten into the guy’s core a little bit."

Well, that and cussing out the ref ...

After the first technical, Saunders got himself tossed with some biting sarcasm.

"Good job, Marc," Saunders yelled. "That's the first (bleeping) call you've got right all day."

Either way, the fact that head coaches can get tossed, too, might make a transition to the sidelines that much easier for Wallace.

For the full audio of the interview, check out MLive.

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