Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Head(band) Case?

Let's see, Ben Wallace's minutes are declining, as is his performance, he and his coach can't agree on headwear and the Bulls, once thought to be one of the up-and-comers in the NBA, are heading straight downward. While Wallace's former employer, the Detroit Pistons, look utterly beatable every night and might not be able to stop me from driving the middle. Yeah, that decision seems to be working out well.

It's hard to view this one as anything but greed over intelligence. Wallace could have stayed here, playing primarily defense and rebounding, boosting his Hall of Fame status and keeping the Pistons closer to the NBA elite. Of course, he would have had to settle for millions of dollars over millions and millions of dollars. Instead, Wallace opted for Chicago's ridiculous cash offer and has been a complete disaster thus far. Combined with his last few seasons in Auburn Hills, where he feuded with Larry Brown and Flip Saunders, Wallace is quickly painting himself as a coach hating headcase whose career is in rapid decline. So much for that "Goin' To Work", team-first attitude Wallace became so closely attached with.

Do I think the entire headband-gate thing is stupid? Yeah, it is. I don't see what Skiles gains from such a policy. In a league where they worry about players showing up every night (and taking firearms on the road), should coaches really concern themselves over headbands? Probably not. However, is it asking Wallace, or anyone else, too much to give up the headband? Does it help him play better? (I thought we were told that it was the shoes?) In giving Wallace fourteen million this year, perhaps his employer has a right to enforce a dress code. It's not like it's breaking a constitutional amendment or anything. Just don't wear the thing. Consider it a professional courtesy.

In watching the Pistons this year, I keep thinking, "If Ben were here that guy would not be getting a lay-up right now". I also think "Maybe the Pistons wouldn't look so average, had Wallace stayed". Then, I see what is going on in Chicago and think that Joe Dumars made the right decision regardless of what happens down the road. Wallace's pouting appears to be more consistent than his play and that's just not worth the headache. Or the money.

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