Ben Wallace hasn't decided if he's going to return for the final year of his contract -- but he hopes his body will let him know one way or the other. From Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:
"I just want to get in the gym a couple of more days, get up and down, pound that hardwood and see what happens on the off days," he said after his second straight day of workouts at the Pistons' practice facility since NBA teams were given the OK to make them available to players. "That's usually when you can tell. If I come in here and go hard for two hours, 2½ hours, go home and can't move the next day, that's not a good sign. But if I can get up and get around and run behind the kids and do my usual, that tells me my body is getting strong."
Wallace also had some interesting comments about Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe, so I suggest you click over to read the whole thing. Even if Wallace does return, he doesn't sound interested in a starting role:
"I didn't think I played too many minutes [last year], but I played too many consecutive minutes," he said. "I was playing 12 straight minutes. I definitely wasn't ready for that. Maybe with five, six minutes here, five, six minutes there, I could contribute better to the team than playing 12 straight in the first quarter, 12 straight in the third quarter.
"It takes its toll on the two most important parts of your body as a basketball player - your knees and your back. You go out there, you pound your knees for 12 minutes, then you come and sit for 12 minutes, your back gets tight. Then you've got to go back out there for another 12 minutes and then come and sit for 12 minutes, and then maybe at the end of the game your team needs a stop and you can't help your team. It pounds the knees and stiffens up your back."
Something to keep in mind with the lockout-shortened schedule: the season is cut down to 66 games, but there will be at least some back-to-back-to-back games, which isn't easy for anyone, let alone creaky veterans. So if Wallace returned, I'd imagine he'd have a few scheduled DNPs, not to mention any other time missed due to injury.
Even so, I'd love to see Wallace return in any capacity -- he seemed to be one of the few veterans unaffected by last year's malaise. He's not the player he used to be, but he's still productive, especially for a guy making just a shade over $2 million. What say you?