|The Greening of ‘Sheed: A look at Wallace’s season in Boston||08.11.10 at 1:31 am ET|
Thirteen months after signing a three-year deal with the Celtics, Rasheed Wallace’s time with the team — and in the NBA — has come to an end.
On Tuesday night, the Celtics announced that they had waived Wallace after “coming to a mutual agreement following which Wallace plans to retire.”
Wallace, 35, only may have played one year of his contract in Boston, but that was more than enough time for the big man with the big personality to make an impact.
Here is a look back at five (and yes, there are many more than that) of Sheed’s memorable moments with the Celtics:
Welcome to Boston
After a courtship that included a trip to his Michigan home, the Celtics signed Wallace in July of 2009. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen attended his introductory press conference, where Wallace discussed his excitement of being a Celtic, his role off the bench, and his appreciation of his new teammates’ support.
“I just want to thank all the guys sitting up here on stage,” he said. “Because they didn’t have to come up here today and show their team compassion about having me here in the city of Boston and playing with them.”
The good …
Between injuries and inconsistencies, Wallace’s performance during the regular season was shaky. But there were points when he showed glimpses of his former self. Take November 3, 2009, against the 76ers. Wallace scored 20 points in 24 minutes, including six 3-pointers, in front of his hometown crowd.
… the bad …
With the playoffs nearing, the outcome of an April game against the Bulls had an impact on postseason seeding. But a second half mishap by Wallace didn’t help the Celtics’ chances of stealing the third spot. The play drew a reaction from the crowd, but not the one the C’s were looking for that night.
… and the outspoken
Wallace took his outspoken personality with him when he came to Boston. He came close to maxing out on technical fouls and was handed down fines on several occasions. One of his most memorable quotes (which earned him a $30,000 fine for publicly criticizing officials) came following a game against Hedo Turkoglu and the Raptors.
“They gotta know that he’s a damn flopper,” he said of Turkoglu. “That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.”
The following month, Wallace was ejected for arguing with officials when he felt referee Bill Kennedy was standing too close to the Celtics huddle.
“I’ll still play my game,” Wallace said after the ejection. “I’ll still be me. I ain’t changing my game for nobody. I ain’t changing nothing for nobody.”
The final call
Wallace’s 15-year career came to an end with seconds left in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Wallace, who started in place of an injured Kendrick Perkins while battling backs spasms himself, fouled out of his final NBA game.
According to reports, he attempted to speak to officials following the Celtics’ loss but was not allowed in the officials’ locker room.
That night, Doc Rivers said he expected Wallace to retire.
“You know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again,” Rivers said following Game 7. “You know, he’s one of them. I think he took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and the strains, he was just trying to figure out a way of staying on the floor.”
Wallace scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in what looks to be his final game.
He averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds during the regular season for the Celtics. The four-time All-Star has a career average of 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 46.8 percent field goal shooting. He was selected by the Washington Bullets with the fourth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.
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