The bell tolls no more at the Palace, Ba Ba Ba Ben Wallace is no longer a Piston and many fans don’t know how to take the news. As for me, I knew this was coming for a while now. During the last part of the season you could just tell that Ben just wasn’t having fun out there. He was doing and saying things that were very uncharacteristic. He refused to go back into a game that the Pistons eventually lost. He actually came out and expressed his anger at his teammates for always having to play catch-up, and most of all he was very unhappy with the Pistons offensive direction.
When he hired Super Agent Arn Tellem, it was just a matter of time. The Pistons offered him 48 million dollars over four years and Ben was disappointed. They then upped the deal to 51.8 million and he was even more offended. So he took the Bulls offer of 60 million over 4 years. It was the best contract of his career, how could he turn it down? You would have done it and so would I. Basketball is a business, sometimes your heart gets in the way and sometimes it doesn’t. Ben obviously had something else going on besides just the money, he has had a Shaq sized chip on his shoulder for a while now and if 8.2 million dollars helps him get rid of it, then good for him.
I am not bitter, I just think that his taking the offer from the Bulls put the Pistons in a tight position. In my head I was ready to start the 2006 season without Ben, but I thought a sign and trade deal was in the team’s future. With no sign and trade, the Pistons signed center Nazr Mohammed to a 5 year 30 million dollar contract that left the Pistons virtually crippled to sign any other free agents on the market due to cap restrictions.
Sure this is not the Pistons team that we have all grown to love. Of course Nazr is no Ben Wallace, but this is how professional basketball is played, on and off the court. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel. Carlos Delfino is going to see some serious court time, get his confidence up and show Flip that he, instead of Evans was the go to guy. Jason Maxiell is about to see what the NBA is really all about and I think he’s ready. Amir Johnson might even get a chance to play some minutes and show us what he can do. I am looking toward the future and right now it looks bright.
Good luck to Ben, he did what he had to do and he gave us some pretty good times here in Detroit. The Pistons gave him his identity and in exchange he gave us six hard working years, four trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and an NBA Championship. I will continue to cheer Ben along the way as long as it doesn’t interfere with my Pistons. No hard feelings Ben, I will just remember the Good Times….
I am still a fan of Ben Wallace, but first and foremost I am a Detroit Pistons Fan, a diehard Pistons fan for life, who has seen many players come and go and have learned that you stick by the team and not the player.