Ben Wallace joked that a fan poll could help sway his decision on whether or not to come back next year. I say it's no laughing matter and I'm happy to give the man what he wants.
Wallace, currently in his 16th season, remains the Pistons best defender and could certainly contribute to the team next season if he wanted to.
But up to now Wallace has been pretty unequivocal that this is it. His final season. He says he is ready to enjoy the fruits of retirement, spend time with his family and even explore getting a law degree.
The hedge is slight but it is there:
"If it was me, right now, I'm going home," Wallace said. "I've got more people to consider than just me."
The "people" he is referring to could be any number of things: A family that doesn't want a dad who obviously still has the itch to play pro ball sitting at home and being miserable; a team that is asking him to stick around and keep contributing to wins and even to rebuilding a winning tradition; a coach who sees a role for him next season and would love to be able to pencil him in for 15 minutes a night.
And maybe even himself. Maybe he doesn't want to leave the stage to half-empty home games and a fan base that is more interested in tabulating lottery odds than in watching a team grinding out the occasional win.
Look, I still think he's going to retire. But the man asked for a poll and dammit, I'm going to give the man a poll. Besides, I'd wager the results are going to lean pretty heavily one way. But just to put some extra emphasis on this I say EVERYONE VOTES and EVERYONE encourages OTHERS TO VOTE.
Let's make a statement. We want Big Ben back in 2012-13!