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View Full Version : Banning Head Bands: Skiles v. Wallace


MavKikiNYC
11-26-2006, 09:31 PM
What the hell is wrong with Ben Wallace? Round 1 to Skiles.


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Skiles enforces the law


November 26, 2006

BY JOHN JACKSON (jjackson@suntimes.com) Staff Reporter
NEW YORK -- The Bulls snapped their six-game losing streak with a 106-95 victory Saturday against the New York Knicks, but finally busting into the win column was overshadowed by a battle of wills between Bulls coach Scott Skiles and veteran center Ben Wallace.

Skiles bans players from wearing headbands during games, and Wallace started the game wearing a red headband. Skiles didn't notice it at first, but Wallace -- the Bulls' marquee free-agent signing during the offseason -- was yanked 2:02 into the game when he did.

Then at the start of the second half, with the Bulls ahead by 22 points, Wallace started onto the floor with the headband on again. He was replaced by Malik Allen before play began.

After the game, the Bulls' locker room was closed for 25 minutes -- the NBA rule is no longer than 15 minutes -- before the media was allowed in. The matter was addressed, but almost everyone was mum about the details.

''That's kind of an inside team matter,'' Skiles said when asked if Wallace would face further discipline. ''The guys, they may comment, they may not, but I'm not going to.''
The timing of Wallace testing Skiles is interesting because it came one day after Wallace was yanked 3 minutes into the Bulls' loss Friday to the Philadelphia 76ers.

But the players who commented tried to down play the matter.

''I feel like it's nothing at all,'' said guard Kirk Hinrich, who had 21 points and eight assists. ''We're going to figure it out and move forward. We'll just figure how it's going to be and move past it.''

Wallace didn't address the matter.

''I got no issues,'' he said. ''We got a win.''

When asked if he disagreed with the rule, Wallace said: ''Man, I don't care about that. We got a win.''

Wallace had five points and seven rebounds in nearly 29 minutes.

Unlike Friday against the 76ers, when they fell behind 13-1, the Bulls got off to a fast start against the Knicks and had control of the game from the opening tip. Several Bulls had big first halves, led by Luol Deng, who scored 16 points of his team-high 24 points before halftime.

More important, the Bulls played well on the defensive end in the first half, holding the Knicks to 11-for-30 shooting (36.7 percent) and forcing 15 turnovers.

It appeared the second half would be no more than extended garbage time, but things quickly got more interesting than the crowd expected -- or than the Bulls would have liked.

On the Knicks' first possession, Allen was called for a foul and Skiles argued. He received a
technical, continued to get his views across and quickly was ejected. It was only Skiles' second ejection as the Bulls' coach.

Steve Francis sank both technical free throws, then Renaldo Balkman split two free throws from the Allen foul to make it 58-37. After Deng scored at the other end, the Knicks went on a 15-3 run to pull to 65-52 midway through the third.

The Bulls, though, responded with a 9-2 spurt for a more comfortable 72-54 edge. The Bulls took an 82-62 advantage into the fourth quarter and seemed firmly in command, but the Knicks got as close as 98-93 with just less than two minutes left before the Bulls held on to return home with a 1-6 trip.
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StackAttack
11-26-2006, 09:34 PM
The real story is how bad Ben is this season.

dude1394
11-26-2006, 10:02 PM
Why in heaven would he care if someone wears a headband? What if they sort of want to keep sweat out of their eyes.

What a ridiculous rule. Sounds like chicago's going nowhere as long as an idiot like that as coach.

nuggien
11-26-2006, 10:22 PM
Why in heaven would he care if someone wears a headband? What if they sort of want to keep sweat out of their eyes.

What a ridiculous rule. Sounds like chicago's going nowhere as long as an idiot like that as coach.

Isn't scott skiles one of the better coaches in the league?

And maybe this isn't really about headbands at all. Maybe he just wants to single out ben wallace for his subpar play. :) Imagine, a guy who at best is half the player dennis rodman was, getting $15million per. What is the world coming to? Oh wait, dampier... :(

dude1394
11-26-2006, 10:46 PM
He may be a good "coach" but silly-ass rules like this will cause sooner or later reasonable people to look at him like a nut. His clock is ticking.

MavsX
11-26-2006, 11:17 PM
my nuts itch.

nashtymavsfan13
11-26-2006, 11:17 PM
This is dumb. Dumb of Skiles to make this rule, dumb of Wallace to not follow it. The Bulls are done.

V2M
11-26-2006, 11:53 PM
Skiles was sighted at the David Stern University last night

FINtastic
11-27-2006, 12:29 AM
What kind of idiotic coach would ban headbands? If players want to wear them, let them wear them. Micromanaging like this is what leads to players rebelling against their coaches. Skiles needs to learn which battles are worth fighting. Headbands ain't one of them.

snoop
11-27-2006, 01:02 AM
well the Yanks dont allow facial hair so I dont see the diffenrce. Big Ben is well compansted to follow a dress code

Thespiralgoeson
11-27-2006, 06:13 AM
Not allowing headbands? Seriously, wtf?

raefformvp
11-27-2006, 06:30 AM
Skiles was sighted at the David Stern University last night

*giggle*

I read this story yesterday and thought it was pretty ridiculous. aren't headbands helpful in keeping the sweat from dripping into your eyes? stupid rule by Skiles, but also Wallace could have handled the situation differently instead of acting like a child. sounds like there are some serious control issues between the two.

mqywaaah
11-27-2006, 07:06 AM
Dumb rule. Hope it doesnt spread over to the Mavs side.

sike
11-27-2006, 10:01 AM
Skiles: how foolish. Wallace: how overrated

FINtastic
11-27-2006, 10:13 AM
I think the problem with Wallace isn't that he was that overrated during his career (I think there was a stretch there where he was pretty deserving of the hype). The problem with Ben Wallace is that he is getting old. He's 32 and a guy like him depends on athleticism a whole lot to get the job done.

sike
11-27-2006, 10:22 AM
disagree...I don't think his game has lost THAT much in one off season...I think what has happened is that Ben is no longer in a system that glorifies his strengths while hiding his weaknesses...the man simply looks like a bum out there...will he turn it around?...I assume so...but he will never be "Big Ben" again.

Five-ofan
11-27-2006, 10:57 AM
You remeber this summer when I said they made no signifigant upgrades? Specifically that Chandler to wallace wasnt an upgrade? You remember how you guys laughed? You want to rethink that now? Tyson Chandler is a better player than Ben Wallace....


Now as to this, this is retarded by both people. Skiles was stupid for making it a rule and Wallace has been so god awful this year he needs to not give his coach any excuse to take him off the court.

kg_veteran
11-27-2006, 11:01 AM
Wallace needs to start playing better. I have him on one of my fantasy teams. The rest of this stuff is just window dressing.

kriD
11-27-2006, 12:47 PM
What's Ben thinking?

Wallace's frustration finally rears its head

By K.C. Johnson
Tribune staff reporter
Published November 26, 2006, 9:00 PM CST

The frustration behind Ben Wallace's insubordination Saturday night has been brewing since the first week of training camp.

According to league and Bulls sources, Wallace has felt unfairly singled out by team rules that have taken away his pregame music, his headband and his tape-free ankles.

General manager John Paxson is to talk Monday after practice about Wallace's breaking a team rule by wearing a headband in Saturday's victory over the Knicks. However, Wallace is expected to miss practice because he needs an MRI on his right wrist and fingers after injuring them in the second quarter in New York.

Wallace played after the injury, which neither he nor coach Scott Skiles addressed in New York. Paxson hopes similar solidarity will ensue once this public dispute fades.

Sources said Wallace became upset early in training camp when Skiles enforced a team rule to tape ankles. Wallace never taped his ankles when he played for Detroit.

Wallace left practice to get his ankles taped and, unaccustomed to being constricted, had trouble running and sat out most of the practice, the sources said.

Less than a week later, Wallace hooked his MP3 player into a docking station to play music in the locker room before the first home exhibition game. Asked then if he now allowed pregame music inside the locker room, Skiles said he was unaware any was playing.

By the next home exhibition game, Wallace had headphones connected to his MP3 player. The headphones hung from a hook in his locker, with the volume turned up so loudly that music clearly emanated from them throughout the locker room.

Several people within the organization, including players, theorized Wallace was marking his turf for what perhaps was an inevitable clash between two strong-willed men.

Skiles even addressed such a dynamic during a one-on-one interview earlier this season. He talked about minor clashes he'd had with coaches as a player and, at the time, called such give-and-take "healthy."

Skiles acted unconcerned then about a similar scenario happening with Wallace, who hasn't played pregame music loudly since the regular season began. Skiles underscored that calmness late Saturday when he said he isn't concerned this latest issue would have lingering effects.

Still, Skiles considered the issue serious enough to conduct a 25-minute team meeting after Saturday's game to stress unity. Wallace didn't apologize for wearing the headband, according to two people present at the meeting.

Skiles, who gave his team Sunday off, declined to discuss the reasoning behind the Bulls' no-headband rule. It's not uncommon for professional sports franchises to impose such rules.

George Steinbrenner doesn't allow the Yankees to wear facial hair. The Knicks demand players wear suits while traveling. And White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who is believed to be behind the no-headband rule, asked catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede to get haircuts during last spring training.

What annoyed Wallace, a source close to the player said, is that he wasn't informed of the no-headband rule until after he signed his four-year, $60 million free-agent deal.

Bulls management considers itself to have minimal rules. Most just seem to have rubbed Wallace the wrong way, which could be manifesting itself in his uneven play.

Despite Skiles' consistent public insistence throughout training camp that Wallace's transition has been seamless, the coaching staff is perplexed by his occasionally listless play. That's why Skiles didn't criticize Wallace going one-on-one against Samuel Dalembert on the Bulls' first two offensive possessions Friday night in Philadelphia, leading to two wild misses.

In fact, Wallace might get more touches in an attempt to jump-start his defensive play.

Wallace, who is expected to be fined, still talks regularly to his former teammates in Detroit. His history with coaches there isn't great. He clashed last season with Flip Saunders and had a deteriorating relationship with Rick Carlisle before Larry Brown replaced him.

Less than three weeks after being hired in 2003, Skiles uttered this classic quote in regard to a standoff with Eddie Robinson: "I've never lost a battle of wills in my life. And I don't plan on doing it now."

Wallace, who called himself "stubborn" in the preseason, clearly viewed his decision to wear a headband as payback.

With Wallace signed through 2010 and Skiles through 2009, the task is for these two to find compromise or, at least, some common ground.

kg_veteran
11-27-2006, 01:25 PM
What annoyed Wallace, a source close to the player said, is that he wasn't informed of the no-headband rule until after he signed his four-year, $60 million free-agent deal.

Because, after all, that would have been a deal-breaker.

Wallace: "What's that? I can't wear headbands? Then you keep your stinkin' $60 million!"

sike
11-27-2006, 01:30 PM
this whole thing is just too dumb to believe.

V2M
11-27-2006, 01:30 PM
Just thankful to be a Mavs fan...

Five-ofan
11-27-2006, 01:30 PM
I think the rule is stupid but if he honestly means to imply that he would have reconsidered a 60 million dollar deal just to get wear a headband the man is an even bigger moron than I thought.

Edit-KG beat me to the punch.

Five-ofan
11-27-2006, 01:32 PM
Because, after all, that would have been a deal-breaker.

Wallace: "What's that? I can't wear headbands? Then you keep your stinkin' $60 million!"
Did anyone else get a vision of the SI commercial when they read this?

Flacolaco
11-27-2006, 01:35 PM
I hope they don't give Emperor Stern any ideas about banning head bands....

sike
11-27-2006, 01:55 PM
Just thankful to be a Mavs fan...
every day.

MavKikiNYC
11-27-2006, 01:56 PM
I hope they don't give Emperor Stern any ideas about banning head bands....
Scott Skiles for Commissioner!


Larry Brown was rumored to want to trade one of the Pistons' big men rather than re-sign him to a big contract. I had more or less assumed that even though 'Weed was a Tar Heel, that he was Brown's target.

With every insubordination, it looks more like it would've been Ben.

kg_veteran
11-27-2006, 02:23 PM
Did anyone else get a vision of the SI commercial when they read this?

No doubt.

FINtastic
11-27-2006, 03:22 PM
disagree...I don't think his game has lost THAT much in one off season...I think what has happened is that Ben is no longer in a system that glorifies his strengths while hiding his weaknesses...the man simply looks like a bum out there...will he turn it around?...I assume so...but he will never be "Big Ben" again.

It wasn't just one offseason. He had a noticeable dropoff during the last two months or so of last season, at least noticeable from the perspective of his fantasy owner. He didn't perform all that well in the playoffs. In my opinion, Detroit saw that Ben Wallace was starting to decline, and that played a part in their decision not to offer a contract in the same ballpark as Chicago. And hey, Finley had a big decline in production between 2003-04 season and the 2004-05 season so it isn't totally unfathomable. Yeah, Ben probably isn't in a system that glorifies his strengths as much, but I also think he is also playing worse because he is just simply getting older. Furthemore, I don't think Ben is the type of player that would add some craftiness to his game as he got older (a la Hakeem) to offset losses in athleticism.

Five-ofan
11-27-2006, 03:45 PM
the problem with ben is that he never learned to do anything but jump. You mention Hakeem, hakeem had probably the best footwork of any bigman in nba history and a vast array of pump fakes along with a ridiculous understanding of the game which allowed him to remain fairly effective even after his athletecism started to tail off.

Ive never liked ben. I always dislike people who say something they cant do is easy to do. I remember a direct qoute from him that "anyone can play offense" It reminded me of mazzili saying any idiot could play left field and then promptly proving himself wrong(though that was before my time) I just think that if he believes "anyone" can play offense, he should have learned it at some point since he has killed his teams with his epic inneptitude on that end of the court.

FINtastic
11-27-2006, 03:56 PM
the problem with ben is that he never learned to do anything but jump. You mention Hakeem, hakeem had probably the best footwork of any bigman in nba history and a vast array of pump fakes along with a ridiculous understanding of the game which allowed him to remain fairly effective even after his athletecism started to tail off.

Yeah, bringing up Hakeem was supposed to illustrate a player that relied on physical talents early in career. You watch the highlights of Hakeem in his early days, and he had a couple of simple moves, but he relied mainly on his great length and athleticism. Obviously, he worked hard on his craft because by the time Houston was winning championships, he had one of the most incredible skillsets ever seen from a center.

If you want to see what I'm talking about check out this highlight reel of Hakeem from his college days all the way to his first championship with the Rockets (sadly it doesn't include the ridiculous show he put on against David Robinson the next year) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1sS_wiIfL4

kg_veteran
11-27-2006, 04:09 PM
Jordan was another guy who relied on physical talents early in his career, and then changed his game to remain on top even as his physical abilities started to diminish.

kingrex
11-27-2006, 04:11 PM
It is a dumb rule, and if it was instituted by Reinsdork, then Skiles is just doing his job in enforcing it.

As for Wallace, like it or not, signing that contract means being a "professional" and yes following team rules.

sike
11-27-2006, 04:33 PM
rex?

raefformvp
11-27-2006, 05:26 PM
I hope they don't give Emperor Stern any ideas about banning head bands....

totally off topic, but I couldn't give you any rep now due to my having to "spread it around"...I LOVE your new avatar! it's greatness. :) can I steal it and put it on my myspace?

snoop
11-27-2006, 08:58 PM
the problem with ben is that he never learned to do anything but jump. You mention Hakeem, hakeem had probably the best footwork of any bigman in nba history and a vast array of pump fakes along with a ridiculous understanding of the game which allowed him to remain fairly effective even after his athletecism started to tail off.

Ive never liked ben. I always dislike people who say something they cant do is easy to do. I remember a direct qoute from him that "anyone can play offense" It reminded me of mazzili saying any idiot could play left field and then promptly proving himself wrong(though that was before my time) I just think that if he believes "anyone" can play offense, he should have learned it at some point since he has killed his teams with his epic inneptitude on that end of the court.

I really agree with the piont that Wallace is to dependant on his athletecism, but I don't think he is quite over the hill yet. At the end of his contrat he will have one of the worst deals on the books because he will be terrible once his vertical is gone

V2M
11-30-2006, 11:30 AM
Looking worse for wear
By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
November 30, 2006

Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo! Sports
SALT LAKE CITY – In the end, these debates turn to lost causes for the players. Buried between the sandbox foolery of the Chicago Bulls and Ben Wallace, there was a serious discussion to be had on the rights of individual expression.

Yet, NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher knows how these conversations are predisposed to perish.

Whatever the issue, the solution is simple.

It's this, Fisher says: " 'We're spoiled and we get paid all this money, so basically just shut up and take whatever is handed to you.' "

And that's how it's gone with Wallace this week. The story of Scott Skiles' rules meeting Wallace's will captured the public's attention for a day or so, but it quickly dissolved into the following fact: Big Ben makes $60 million.


What's he complaining about?

Just take that headband off.

Fisher has been on the phone with NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter and his player reps, and there's nothing they can do for Wallace. Headbands are an approved part of the NBA uniform, but they're against Bulls policy. This is a debate that the players can't win in the court of public opinion, and like most of the others, assuredly can't win in court.

Whatever David Stern wants, he gets. From the dress code to the new dime-store basketballs, from the quick-triggered technical fouls to banished head and sweat bands, the NBA's liberal commissioner keeps looking like he's governing further and further to the right.

"Commissioner Stern has freewill to lay down the rules on the court," Fisher said. "We can fight it as long as we want to, but I don't know if there are any arbitrators who will overturn it."

Fisher, the Utah Jazz guard, has taken this thankless job from out-of-the-league Antonio Davis and tries to walk that line between union activist and realist. He has to pick his spots, his fights, wisely because the more the players complain, the more his constituency plays itself into the hands of ownership.

"Things get handed down and then we have to adjust," Fisher said. "And when we try to stand up for what we believe is fair and right in a collective bargaining process, often times we're left with that stigma of being overpaid guys who are always looking for something else. … We've very rarely been sought out for advice before things have been decided."

Over the past week, what troubles Fisher most is this: They picked a perfectly solid citizen to make an example of in Chicago, a player who is the ultimate success story in the sport and a self-made star out of Division II ball. No one ever gave Wallace much of a shot to make a living in the NBA, but he kept coming and coming.

Now, Wallace is getting dismissed as easily as one of those teenage knuckleheads who thought paying his dues was going to those damn SAT prep classes at sneaker camp.

"The situation in Chicago is difficult for us," Fisher said. "Ben has represented the league very well and always been a guy who has stood for things that are good about our game. But when it comes to uniform and headband and sweatband, that's where it starts to get dicey. You're taking away an individual's choice, taking away what he feels comfortable playing in. Today, it's the headband.

"Well, George Steinbrenner doesn't allow his players to wear facial hair …"

That's the issue here: Where's this going? All of this, the union fears, leads them down the slippery slope toward the uniformity of the NFL. Football ownership has done genius work to strip its sport of individualism and make the parts interchangeable with shorter contracts and more modest guarantees.

Rest assured, Stern dismisses such theories, insisting always that the fact the NBA's players weren't hidden behind helmets and facemasks played a most monumental part in the intimacy that grew the sports' popularity.

Still, Fisher says: "It opens the door for Commissioner Stern and our owners to close the gap between what guys are being compensated and what their real value is with the team. The more uniformed and the more things look the same, just like in football, you may end up with just one or two [players] who are franchise guys, have that big deal, but a lot of the rest of those guys are just year to year.

"We're trying to defend and hold onto the players' ability going forward to be able to earn as much of a living as his abilities will allow him."

Between now and then, Fisher is on a mission to mobilize the NBA's young superstars into action. LeBron James told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the union can count on him to start speaking up and upholding his stature in the sport. If nothing else, Fisher wants his term as president to be the return to the 1990s in the union, when Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing were the biggest, boldest voices in the game.

"In order for our union to carry a voice, we need those guys who are out front selling the tickets and the jerseys," Fisher said.

Even then, it isn't easy. There are debates to be had on these issues, genuine discussions, but sometimes it's too hard to hear over the shrill sounds screaming to shut up, sit down and count all that cash. For that reason alone, David Stern is unbeatable.

Adrian Wojnarowski is the national NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports.