The game all Pistons fans have been talking about, The Pistons vs. Ben Wallace and the Chicago Bulls. This was the game we immediately looked for on the schedule when it came out. We waited and now it’s here.
If you have been reading any kind of sports news the past couple of days you were sure to come across an abundance of articles regarding Ben’s reunion with his former teammates. There are the stories of Ben’s emotions, to the stories of Ben’s feelings regarding his former coach Flip Saunders and the stories of how the Pistons miss Ben in the middle.
I am not sure who this game is more important to, Ben or his former teammates. Both state they miss each other, and that their friendship bonds are still there. But when they all step on that court each one has something to prove. Ben needs to prove to the city that made him, that he made the right decision. The Pistons have their pride on the line. There have been Pistons doubters since July when Ben announced his defection. Most said the Pistons wouldn’t survive without Ben. Some gave Chicago instant Championship status and some said that Chicago maxed out their payroll on an aging one dimensional player.
I myself have no hard feelings toward Ben. I appreciate what he did for this team and the city. He helped bring back pride, hard work and a championship to a Pistons team nobody believed in. But it’s time to move on. Some things have come to light that I would have rather not known about the man I always considered humble. This man who came from nothing and made something of himself has been overshadowed by the one we see now. As much as we want to believe that we knew who Ben Wallace was we were wrong. His ego, feelings, and sensitivity got in the way of all the things we knew him to be.
He’s still complaining about being on the bench in game six of the Heat series, when what was best for the team was having a lineup that could erase the hole that the Pistons were in. He still talks about being slighted by the coach and for that matter Joe Dumars, for being more offensive minded. A style that the Pistons and the rest of the league have been forced into by Mr. Sterns eagerness to bring the game to the masses. He still talks about how unhappy he was not getting any touches on the offense.
That’s not the man I thought he was, but it’s as plain as day. So much for what is best for the team and what it takes to get it done. Ben has shown us who he really is. He’s got a superstar ego, even though he’s tried so hard not to let it show. Don’t let him fool you, if the Pistons style hadn’t changed and Ben was getting the touches he wanted, I don’t care how much money the Bulls offered him, we would be seeing him in a Pistons uniform today.
Now as Pistons fans we let it go. Thanks Ben for all you did, but tonight we won’t be cheering for you.