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MavsFanFinley
04-23-2003, 09:21 PM
Wallace is Defensive Player of Year -- again

April 23, 2003

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons won the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season Wednesday.

Wallace became the sixth player to win the award in consecutive years, receiving 100 out of a possible 117 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

``It means a lot to me,'' Wallace said. ``One thing that I pride myself on is playing defense. I guess this shows I'm doing a good job.''

Ron Artest of Indiana, Kevin Garnett of Minnesota, Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Doug Christie of Sacramento rounded out the top five.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Wallace averaged a league-best 15.4 rebounds, the highest regular-season average since Dennis Rodman's 16.1 in 1996-97. Wallace averaged 3.15 blocked shots, second to Atlanta's Theo Ratliff, who averaged 3.23 blocks.

Sidney Moncrief, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Alonzo Mourning also won the award in consecutive seasons. No one has won the award three straight times.

``I guess that's something to shoot for,'' Wallace said.

Artest, who received two first-place votes, complained that the honor should have been his.

``There's a lot of good defenders out there, but I still feel I should have won the award,'' he said.

Last year, Wallace was a nearly unanimous choice after becoming just the fourth player to lead the league in rebounding and shot-blocking.

``Ben has proven himself to be the most dominant defensive player in the league again this year,'' said Joe Dumars, the Pistons' president of basketball operations. ``I'm happy to see that people around the league have recognized him once again.''

Wallace, who averaged a team-high 39.4 minutes, helped Detroit limit opposing teams to a league-low average of 87.7 points during the regular season.

The 28-year-old Wallace became the first undrafted player to be voted an All-Star starter this season. He played in the game one day after his mother's funeral.

After missing two weeks with a sprained ligament in his left knee, Wallace finished with 13 rebounds and three blocks in the Pistons' loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

Before getting injured, Wallace was on pace to become the first player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounds and blocks twice. Last season, he joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to lead in rebounds and blocks.

The seven-year NBA veteran, who went undrafted out of Virginia Union in 1996, averaged 6.9 points to help the Pistons win their second straight Central Division title and earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a record of 50-32.

MavsFanFinley
04-23-2003, 09:24 PM
Artest says he should have won defensive award

By DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer

April 23, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Ron Artest feels he's been slighted.

The Indiana Pacers forward was disappointed to finish second behind Detroit's Ben Wallace in voting for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, which Wallace won for the second straight year Wednesday.

``There's a lot of good defenders out there, but I still feel I should have won the award,'' said Artest, who received two first-place votes.

Doug Christie, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett also received first-place votes.

Pacers coach Isiah Thomas, one of Artest's biggest supporters throughout a season of distractions, said the result was a letdown.

``Considering the people he has to guard every single night and what he's done to these people when he's guarded them, it's disappointing he's not looked at as the best defender in the league,'' Thomas said. ``I believe he is.''

Wallace averaged an NBA-best 15.4 rebounds, the highest regular-season average since Dennis Rodman's 16.1 in 1996-97. He also averaged 3.15 blocked shots, second only to the 3.23 averaged by Atlanta's Theo Ratliff.

Artest averaged 5.2 rebounds, 0.72 blocked shots and was second in the NBA in steals with 2.3 a game. He was one of six players who played in fewer than 70 games but had more than 150 steals.

Artest missed 12 games because of suspensions for bad behavior and flagrant fouls. He has jawed with Miami coach Pat Riley, hurled a television monitor and smashed a camera after a loss in New York and made obscene gestures toward fans.

Thomas said none of Artest's troubles should matter.

``The game's played on the floor,'' he said. ``I think you should be judged by what you do on the floor. That's it.''

LRB
04-23-2003, 10:01 PM
<< ``There's a lot of good defenders out there, but I still feel I should have won the award,'' said Artest, who received two first-place votes. >>



Don't worry Ron Artest, there is always the Dumbass of the year award.

Epitome22
04-23-2003, 11:19 PM
No disrespect to Artest. He's probably easily the best perimeter defender in the league, and those 240 pounds he's carrying around make him a menacing post defender, but he doesen't have sheer impact on the game from the Defensive end that Wallace does.

Drbio
04-23-2003, 11:33 PM
Wallace deserved it. Artest is a Class A putz.

seelenjaeger
04-24-2003, 05:15 AM
Artest is a punk and a bad looser. Sad.

Congrats Ben.

MavKikiNYC
04-24-2003, 07:02 AM
No votes for Dirk or Eddie?

OUTRAGE!

TripleDipping
04-24-2003, 08:50 AM
Yeah Artest deserve the defensive player award... for defending his own stupid actions.

Murphy3
04-24-2003, 09:10 AM
no one in the eastern conference should receive considerable mention for any major award

LRB
04-24-2003, 11:49 AM
<< no one in the eastern conference should receive considerable mention for any major award >>



I beg to disagree Murph. Ron Artest clearly deserves the Biggest Punk in the NBA award, the Dumbass award, and the Most Boneheaded Suspensions award. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

Murphy3
04-24-2003, 11:59 AM
i wouldn't consider those major awards...those are second tier awards in all likeliness.

Nash13
04-24-2003, 02:42 PM
Murph i'd totally agreed with you if you weren't completely wrong. If you look back in history, the Great Players win this award.

southern_sweets
04-24-2003, 03:32 PM
<< No votes for Dirk or Eddie?

OUTRAGE! >>

I voted for Eddie. i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif