I don't know how to approach this.
Ben Wallace initially said he was going to retire after this season. If that turns out to be the case, he was given a fitting winner's exit on Thursday night. The team (and even media row) donned headbands to pay homage to Wallace, the crowd was great -- especially with the "WE WANT BEN!" chants near the end -- and the team played their hearts out for the 16-year vet, winning by 22. Wallace also had 12 rebounds, a block and a steal in 22-plus minutes, reminiscent of his heyday. For a 25-win team in a lockout shortened season full of ugly, it was a beautiful finale.
Then Wallace started hinting that he might come back. He says he's ready to retire and it sounds like his family wants him to, but Wallace is open to deliberating a comeback. Even in a limited role, the numbers prove he's still got it.
But I'm torn. I don't know what he's going to do and I don't know what I really want him to do, selfish and unreasonable desires aside.
I don't know. I guess I don't want it to end. He can still help this team. I'm sad. And confused. But also thankful -- really, he saved my Pistons fanhood when I thought Grant Hill broke it. As MFBWPTD put it so perfectly, he's a hero.
In the end, though, I think the best approach is to just be glad. It could've been like Rip. It could've been like it is with Tayshaun. It could've been 2006. We got a chance to give Big Ben a deserving farewell, if this is in fact farewell.
- I kept going back and forth on a few different headlines and ultimately decided that since this post was all about Ben Wallace that I was just going to title it such. As everyone here knows, "Ben Wallace" represents so much more than just a name.
- As great as tonight was for die-hards who weren't going to miss this game without a legitimate reason, I'm a little disappointed at how little attention it got nationally. The 1st Round of the NFL Draft and the Pistons being horrible this year can be to blamed, I guess, but I'm really pissed off at ESPN. SportsCenter did not mention it ONCE. NOT ONE EFFING TIME. Brad Miller got a nice little highlight section with mention of his impending retirement, but nothing on Ben Wallace possibly playing his last game, because he didn't bawl, I guess. To toss salt on the wound, SportsCenter made Ben Gordon's seven 2nd quarter threes the No. 10 Top Play of the night while never mentioning Wallace, and THEN called Gordon Big Ben at the end of the highlight. Are you facebanging me? Ben Gordon, BIG BEN!? This goes back to my Linsanity of Ben Wallace post from earlier this season. No respect, I tell ya.
- Box Score
- Ben Wallace Roll Call: BandWagonerPaysTheDues, Toledo Joe, Fuad Shalhout, TheyCallMeBruceLee, Mike Payne, Trout Jefferson, heWizard, brgulker, garrettelliott, Kriz, Shinons*, Aris Kafadogias, Other Matt, grantlp13, curlyfries, Kruza, Packey, bonerici, V., CheerstoLilWayne, The Boourns, Rusty_Shackleford, Fadel, MSUDersh, JumpingBlob, Danny D, gordbrown, b23, mannie32, tads, TDP, W. Stones
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Name # of Posts BandWagonerPaysTheDues 70 brgulker 62 Aris Kafadogias 49 Trout Jefferson 49 Mike Payne 41 Shinons* 36 Other Matt 33 heWizard 18 curlyfries 11 Kruza 11 Kriz 10 Toledo Joe 9 V. 7 CheerstoLilWayne 5 Packey 5 Rusty_Shackleford 4 garrettelliott 3 JumpingBlob 3 W. Stones 2 tads 2 b23 2 The Boourns 2 TheyCallMeBruceLee 2 mannie32 1 grantlp13 1 TDP 1 Fuad Shalhout 1 gordbrown 1 MSUDersh 1 bonerici 1 Danny D 1 Fadel 1