It will become official today, when the NBA’s moratorium on free agency ends and the Pistons sign Nazr Mohammed to deal with their mid level exception. Exact details will be announced but it’s most likely that Detroit pays Nazr 5.2 million dollars a year, a drop in the bucket compared to what Chicago is spending on Ben Wallace.
Let’ s not compare the two players, that’s just not fair, to Ben or Nazr. Ben is gone and the Pistons now have to look to the future. Nazr brings more than you think to the team. Last year he averaged 6.2 points, 5.2 rebounds in just 17.4 minutes per game. Nazr who will likely have to answer questions all season long about being Ben Wallace’s replacement, needs to put up numbers right from the start to win the hearts of hardnosed Pistons fans.
Instead of talking about what Mohammed doesn’t bring to the team, let’s talk about what he does. He has a nice 12 foot jumper, he great on the offensive boards, and he can make his free throws. Some say his production fell off the last couple of years because of his relationship with Gregg Popovich, and because he played alongside Tim Duncan. I hope he has something to prove this season and puts up career numbers. Playing regularly with Chauncey, Rip, Tayshaun and Rasheed will sure help.
Mohammed gets his drive from his father, Tahiru, who kept a tight rein on his son. Mohammed lost his father in 2000. He was murdered in Chicago, where Mohammed grew up. His father was 55. “My father was a strong man, with a strong will, I thought he would outlive me.” Said Narz after his death.
Mohammed often talks about his father, and what he did for him when he was younger, how he instilled discipline in him, taught him Islam, and the focus it requires to fast every fall during Ramadan, the holy month during which Muslims abstain from food and water during daylight.
The period begins in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and often falls during training camp and exhibition games. At times, fasting lasted right up to the beginning of the regular season. Because of this, his play some years has been sluggish the first few weeks of the season. But he comes on as he regains his strength. Via The Detroit Free Press
I think it will take some time for Pistons fans to open their hearts to Nazr. Let’s not forget that Ben Wallace was the face of the Pistons for many years, something fans aren’t likely to forget that quick. I myself am excited to see what he brings to the team.
I can hear Mason right now, 6-10 from Kentucky, Naziiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Mooooooooohaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmed!