Rasheed Wallace has been a surprisingly huge contributor to this season's New York Knicks team. When he decided to come out of retirement to join the Knicks' roster it was believed he's play sparsely. Maybe he'd be able to eventually play himself back into shape to give the Knicks 15 minutes a game. Little did we know that Amare Stoudemire and Marcus Camby would be hurt and Wallace would become a major part of the Knicks fast start. That being said, if he wants to continue to be a productive member of the team he'll have to keep his mouth under control and avoid technical fouls and being thrown out of games.
There are many ways to trash talk your opponent on the basketball court. However, Rasheed Wallace has made it an art form. Some are mean, funny, vulgar, profane, or a combination of all the above. While Wallace has been guilty of saying everything and anything over his career to get under his opponents and the referees skin his favorite saying isn't his own.
Before his first ejection as a Knickerbocker fans got a taste of the old Wallace. While Arron Afflalo of the Orlando Magic was shooting free throws Wallace shouted, “Yeah, Aflac!” While rookie Austin Rivers of the New Orleans Hornets was shooting free throws Wallace went to his favorite, "Ball don't lie!"
Because those comments were fairly harmless and directed towards opponents there was no action taken. However, against the Phoenix Suns things changed. Wallace fouled Louis Scola hard in the lower post and then seemingly slapped or swiped in his direction afterwards. He received a technical foul. Irate at the call, Wallace then continued complaining to referees and then shouted, "Ball don't lie", following the missed technical free throw by Goran Dragic.
This time Wallace received a second technical foul and was ejected from the game. The reason was simply because this time the saying was directed towards the referees. For their sake and for the sake of the NBA product referees can't allow the inmates to run the asylum. Wallace had to go, and quite frankly, it was entirely his fault.
Wallace has received 317 technical fouls and has been ejected from 30 games throughout his NBA career. Unfortunately for the short-handed Knicks, that moment came less than 90 seconds after Wallace shed his warm-up suit. He was sent to the showers, not having broken a sweat.
"Ball don't lie" is a saying that has been widely used for years in the NBA and on street courts everywhere. It's used when a weak offensive player is put on the free throw line and misses the shot. It's used when players believe they got an unfair call against them. It's used to show up opponents and referees alike, sometimes both at the same time.
In the NBA, players egos are often as big as their salaries. It doesn't take much to set them off. When players feel their manhood is questioned or their game is being mocked it often throws them off. The insults could be simple and subtle or thought out and blunt. For a trash talker, whatever works go with it.
Unfortunately for Wallace, his reputation precedes him. He's known as a hot head. Hot many players are as skilled at getting technical fouls or thrown out of games like Wallace is. He's older now and claims he's more mature. He's even got his eyes focused on a future in coaching. That being said, once a hot head always a hot head. Don't expect him to be burning incense and teaching yoga any time soon.
Getting thrown out of games can't be a norm if Wallace is going to continue to be such an important part of this years Knicks team. He has to be reliable. He can't be around to team big men how to play in the post, play tough defense and be a vocal leader if he's heading home early. He needs to keep his mouth under control.
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