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kriD
04-09-2006, 08:12 AM
Ben Wallace flips out at Saunders

Pistons center refuses to re-enter Friday's game against the Magic after coach benches him earlier.

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

AUBURN HILLS -- Sometimes you snap. Even the great ones snap.

An 82-game schedule is as much a mental grind as it is a physical one. Over a three-week span, you've had to knock heads and elbows and knees twice with Shaquille O'Neal. You are playing against the biggest, strongest and fastest of your profession -- Miami, Indiana, New Jersey, Dallas, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Phoenix -- one after the next.

You get weary. Your body aches and your nerves get frayed. Things that used to roll right off you are starting to get under your skin.

You are, after all, human. You snap.

On Friday night, Ben Wallace snapped. With 7:57 left in the fourth quarter of a 89-87 loss in Orlando, and the Pistons trailing by eight points, coach Flip Saunders took Wallace out of the game. Wallace was clearly peeved. Never mind that he had played all 15 minutes of the second half to that point, he stormed to the end of the bench uttering a torrent of unprintables directed at Saunders.

Saunders explained the move to Wallace, who waved him off.

A couple of minutes later, Saunders wanted to put him back into the game. Wallace didn't move. He wouldn't even look at Saunders. With the Pistons back in contention and threatening to steal a victory, Saunders again summoned Wallace.

Again, Wallace waved him off and stayed seated at the bench, not even getting up to join the huddle during timeouts.

"He said he couldn't go," was all Saunders would say after the game.

Wallace made it clear he wasn't injured and that he will be ready to play today against the Pacers.

In the clear light of a new day, Wallace will regret what he did. To refuse to enter a game is so beyond his character, it's hard to believe it happened. He is a captain and a leader on the best team in basketball. His identity -- and thus the identity of this team -- has been forged on the principles of going to work every day, having your teammates' backs and relentlessly fighting through all the bumps and hurdles life throws at you.

For him to have hung his teammates out to dry like that, for sure, will be tough for him to swallow today. Already, the team was without Richard Hamilton, who was in Coatesville, Pa., attending a family funeral, and Rasheed Wallace, who left in the third quarter because of back spasms.

When Ben Wallace refused to come back, Saunders had to use rookie Jason Maxiell, who hadn't dressed in nine games and hadn't played in the previous 13, to spell Antonio McDyess for four minutes. Then, with Wallace still refusing to come in, Saunders went with Dale Davis and McDyess down the stretch.

"Those guys on the floor really spilled their guts," Saunders said.

They did. Maxiell had a basket and a steal. Davis had four points. McDyess chased down a missed free throw in the final seconds to give the Pistons one more shot at tying the score.

"Those guys did a great job," Ben Wallace said. "They stayed ready and prepared and really gave us a lift."

Ben Wallace wouldn't go into all the causes of his frustration. Neither he nor Saunders felt it was any kind of crisis. Several teammates waved it off as a temporary spat between Wallace and Saunders -- nothing horribly unusual -- and felt it would clear up by today.

Part of Ben Wallace's frustration might stem from his problems at the free-throw line. He has made just 5 of his last 32 attempts. He missed two free throws in the fourth quarter Friday, and was still stewing over that when Saunders pulled him.

Ben Wallace also said earlier in the week that he didn't want to have his minutes reduced. He feels like to be best prepared for the postseason, he needs to maintain his normal work load.

One frustration Ben Wallace will voice loud and clear, though, is with the way the Pistons are playing. Though they are winning, and though they played a mostly solid game at Miami on Thursday, he is bothered by what he calls, "garbage basketball", particularly early in games.

"We can't keep putting ourselves in a hole every game," he said. "We are just not coming together at the start of games like we should and then we have to play like super heroes just to catch up. We can't keep making these games so hard on ourselves."

The Pistons were tired and terrible for the most part in Orlando. They produced a season-low 14 assists. They settled for quick perimeter shots. Ben Wallace had only one shot and rarely touched the ball. He has only taken nine shots the last three games combined.

He's not asking to take a lot of shots. He just wants to be involved in the sets so that they aren't playing four on five at the offensive end.

This is hardly a new rant from Ben Wallace. He went off on the same issue earlier in the season and it helped sparked the team's 37-5 start.

Now, nobody is endorsing a sit-down strike as the right way to act out frustration. And it is mildly troubling that a 61-victory team would have to deal with such issues this late in the season. But, over the years, a Ben Wallace meltdown has generally wound up being a good tonic for the team.

It usually sounds the alarm that it is time to get serious.

The playoffs are two weeks away.

orangedays
04-09-2006, 09:13 AM
Drama drama drama

MavsX
04-09-2006, 10:35 AM
U guys hear that ben wallace fired his agent, and he hired a lawyer who is going to get payed hourly? They said not good for a guy who is expecting a big contract with lots of incentives and bonuses and such...

Murphy3
04-09-2006, 11:03 AM
Actually, one of the most idiotic things most of these guys could do would be to hire an agent. Most of the time, there's no reason for them to do anything other than hire a lawyer. No one does less for their money than the agents of pro athletes.

capitalcity
04-09-2006, 12:25 PM
Actually, one of the most idiotic things most of these guys could do would be to hire an agent. Most of the time, there's no reason for them to do anything other than hire a lawyer. No one does less for their money than the agents of pro athletes.While I generally agree, we're talking about Ben Junior College Wallace...

I think he needs all the help he can get.

One guy to read the contract to him.
One guy to tell him what it means.
One guy to talk to his coach.

you get the picture.

Arne
04-09-2006, 12:57 PM
While I generally agree, we're talking about Ben Junior College Wallace...

I think he needs all the help he can get.

One guy to read the contract to him.
One guy to tell him what it means.
One guy to talk to his coach.

you get the picture.
Ben Wallace can do three things:

He can play the PlayStation.
He can defend like a beast.
He can hit the gym hard.

But everything else is too much for him.

Milles
04-09-2006, 03:43 PM
From previous articles I have read when Ben Wallace fired his agent .

His agent was to go on an hourly rate. Ben read the contract, only to see that the agent had inserted some caveat about how if Wallace did not get a max contract, (or something like that) the agent would continue to receive a %. Ben called his agent on that, agent responds, "Oh yeah, I meant to call and let you know there was a mistake in the contract".

From that I got the impression that Ben was not too slow on the uptake. It was only after the, miscommunication, that he fired his agent.

chumdawg
04-09-2006, 05:15 PM
Keyshawn Johnson didn't too bad representing himself, without an agent.

If I were these guys, I'd save the 5%, too.

orangedays
04-09-2006, 05:31 PM
I caught part of the Pistons-Pacers game today and Wallace and Saunders didn't seem to have any problem with each other during the game. No attitude tossed either way. Post-game, Wallace said something along the lines of, 'You concede your mistakes and move past them.' I think it's safe to say that it's a non-issue at this point.

dirno2000
04-09-2006, 06:04 PM
From previous articles I have read when Ben Wallace fired his agent .

His agent was to go on an hourly rate. Ben read the contract, only to see that the agent had inserted some caveat about how if Wallace did not get a max contract, (or something like that) the agent would continue to receive a %. Ben called his agent on that, agent responds, "Oh yeah, I meant to call and let you know there was a mistake in the contract".

From that I got the impression that Ben was not too slow on the uptake. It was only after the, miscommunication, that he fired his agent.

Thatís the same story I read. I donít know where this picture of Wallace as some Neanderthal came from.

As far as the story, I donít know how you donít suspend a player who refuses to enter a game. Saunders and Dumars dropped the ball here and it may eventually come back to bite them in the ass.

Lastly, if I ever screw up so badly that it makes the paper, I want this guy writing the story.

madape
04-09-2006, 06:22 PM
of course, the great Ben Wallace can do no wrong.

so this one will be brushed under the table and people will comment with flippant remarks like "drama drama drama"

never mind that the man did everything in his power to sabatogue his team to mend his bruised ego. What if Jerry Stackhouse did this?

orangedays
04-09-2006, 08:02 PM
of course, the great Ben Wallace can do no wrong.

so this one will be brushed under the table and people will comment with flippant remarks like "drama drama drama"

never mind that the man did everything in his power to sabatogue his team to mend his bruised ego. What if Jerry Stackhouse did this?

Sabatoge his team? Are you kidding me? It's water under the bridge for all except the most drama-seeking observers. Perhaps we should re-ignite the Larry Brown-Starbury soap opera for your viewing pleasure?

chumdawg
04-09-2006, 08:02 PM
I think the answer, Ape, is "skins on the wall."

capitalcity
04-09-2006, 08:15 PM
Flip Saunders = Barry Switzer.

orangedays
04-09-2006, 08:32 PM
This space previously http://www.outpostmagazine.com/health/img/occupied.jpg


by a heaping pile of http://www.bablakejs.co.uk/download/chef.gifhttp://www.dcs.bbk.ac.uk/~hlamh01/mr-ed.jpghttp://static.flickr.com/32/47864776_b85bae7566.jpg

madape
04-10-2006, 07:34 AM
Are we really posting Chef Ed articles here? This bafoon was laughed off this board for his stupidity.

It's a dark day in dallas-mavs.com history when a high profile poster starts referencing Chef Ed to help make his points.

orangedays
04-10-2006, 07:54 AM
But see, I wasn't trying to make a point to begin with. Like I said before, this is already a non-issue to Flip, to Ben, and probably everyone else on the Pistons squad. I'm sure that a high profile poster such as yourself wouldn't want to suckle at the media teat just to have a little drama right ;)

EDIT: Posted the article because I thought it was interesting that I read the phrase 'skins on the wall' in two different places in the space of a week.

Big Boy Laroux
04-10-2006, 08:59 AM
good lord... chef ed? be careful, if you invoke his name, he may appear.

orangedays, i used to like you, man. you had such promise. then you go and do something like this...

well, let's just move past it. everyone makes mistakes. let's just hope you learn something from this experience.

:)

Drbio
04-10-2006, 09:43 AM
Please do not EVER cite Chef "Special Ed" on this board. Man that guy is a total spare.

orangedays
04-10-2006, 09:52 AM
Haha, wow. This was the first Chef Ed article I've ever come across. I had no idea.

My wholehearted and sincere apologies to the members of this board. :)

Drbio
04-10-2006, 09:58 AM
You could go up and edit the post and replace it with:

"This space previously occupied by a heaping pile of steaming Chef Special Ed crap."

Murphy3
04-10-2006, 11:01 AM
What Wallace did was sorry. He deserves to get hammered for it. But, I don't really care too much about him or the Pistons...so, who cares.

MavKikiNYC
04-10-2006, 09:31 PM
Ben effed up.

I wonder if contract negotiations have anything to do with it. He doesn't need to worry about shooting anything other than lobs, put-backs and feeds for dunks.

But I enjoy watching him defend more than I enjoy watching Kobe jack shots up from all over. He may be the best post defender I've ever seen.

Big Boy Laroux
04-11-2006, 09:17 AM
please tell me someone watches NBA FastBreak.

god, BJ Armstrong is a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE Spare of an analyst.

he said this whole thing was because ben wllace was tired because they've been logging so many minutes. Then he rephrased that like 4 different times in his little 2 minute blurb. god, he's worthless.

i remember earlier this year, he said something about the mavs... how they couldn't win it all because they had so many good players, but no one dominant player. huh?

sike
04-11-2006, 10:16 AM
I just laughed at how the first hundred words or so are a defense of the man before the story is even touched upon....how silly. Uh...good reporting Chris.