It's unofficially official -- Rasheed Wallace will be hired as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons. Rasheed is with the team for today's summer league action against the Boston Celtics. Our very own Mike Payne, who is at Orlando Summer League all week, spotted him in a Pistons polo and a Notre Dame baseball cap.
Rasheed was a beloved member of the championship Pistons team in 2003-04. He came mid-season via Atlanta and put a contender over the top with his tenacious defense, unstoppable post-game and the occasional dagger three.
He's one of the most committed, outspoken, outrageous characters in basketball, but he's also really smart. He's universally praised for his incredible basketball IQ and innate feel for the game.
And this can bring nothing but good fortunes to the Pistons franchise and to its young stable of big men -- Andre Drummond chief among them. Goodwill says he will primarily be a big-man coach for Drummond, Greg Monroe, Tony Mitchell, Slava Kravtsov and hopefully the newly acquired small forward Josh Smith.
Smith has spent most of his career at power forward, has a respectable enough post game to do damage against smaller defenders and takes way too many perimeter shots.
It remains to be seen whether Wallace, who has been known to hoist a questionable long-range shot from time to time, will help Smith hone his game, focus and develop a Sheed-like killer instict, or further exacerbate his poor shot selection choices.
But if I were a betting man I'd put money on the former.
To honor this momentous occasion, I expect to see some truly excellent Rasheed photos in comments but to me nothing beats this YouTube clip.
Rasheed Wallace is a Pistons coach and it's Christmas in July!