Curtains For The Real Big Ben?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Long before someone decided to tag that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback with the same nickname, “Big” Ben Wallace was busy becoming an icon in Detroit.

One of the truly unique players of his era and really in league history — he was a four-time All-Star and a four-time Defensive Player of the Year while barely a factor on offense for much of his 15-year career — Wallace is talking about calling it quits after this season.

He didn’t say he would retire. But he did say it is one of the options that could be under consideration this summer, per my main Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:

“That’s always been the case, the last couple of years,” said Wallace, 37. “When the season is over with, I’ll see how my body feels. See if I can get my strength back. If can help this team, maybe I’ll come back.”

Wallace is under contract through next season ($1.9 million), but with the drama — and losing — it’s not hard to envision him reconsidering.

“I’d definitely like to honor (the contract),” Wallace said. “But I have to do what’s best for me as far as my body.

“My legs are feeling good. Let me run up and down the court a little bit, see if I need to do some more work or sit my butt down.”

With a possible lockout next season, Wallace wouldn’t be surprised if he chose to walk away.

If nothing else, he feels like he’d do it on his own terms.

“There’s no use in going out there, hurting myself,” he said. “I’m not getting any younger. My hair doesn’t turn gray, it turns white (laughs).”

More than anything, however, the loss of his oldest brother, Rev. James McBride, has put things in perspective.

“It altered a lot,” Wallace said. “That’s the dude who put the ball in my hands. Losing him … it makes me look at the game and say, ‘For what?'”

Whether or not he walks away, the addition of Dennis Rodman to the Naismith Hall of Fame earlier this week stirred an interesting debate here at the hideout. Does Big Ben have a place in the Hall of Fame, too?

He has a championship on his resume, those four All-Star team nods and four Defensive Player of the Year awards, tied with Dikembe Mutombo for the most in league history, and earned All-NBA honors five times and was the defensive anchor of one of the best defensive outfits in the league, a group that played in six straight conference finals.

His name won’t come up for years, but you have to wonder what his career will look like to the voters years from now. To go from undrafted to where Wallace was at the peak of his career is one of the league’s best underdog stories.

A Hall of Fame nod one day would just seal the deal.

29 Comments

  1. christo says:

    Amazing defender, even more amazing winning a championship.
    Who would have thought at the time 5 would be role players could take down what seemed to be a unstopable team of stars that were the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals, OUTSTANDING!.

  2. CanRottleHead says:

    Will always be my idol including Mr.BIgShot,Rip,Prince,Sheed and the rest of Piston Badboys !!! They’re definitely be a Hall of Famer someday.. they were my bet team but i dont know what happen.. joe dumars sucks !!! but now im a OKC Thunder Big Fan, Go KD4MVP !!! Salute Big Ben and the rest of the BADBOYS !!!

  3. Dwighterz says:

    To Hell with the errors on the article anyway, I f you guys are really concern about those errors. Please send a direct email with the mgt.

  4. Victor Manoel says:

    Man, that block on Shaq was one of the most amazing plays I’ve ever seen… Great player. One day, he’ll be honored in the Hall Of Fame, no doubt about it.

  5. gogoGO! says:

    he really should be in the hall of fame..he’s done it all but it went unnoticed because of the fact he wasn’t considered as uh superstar..so he’s overlooked a lot , but look at his stats ..rebounds , blocks , steals ..he’s a beast , and he’s half dwight howards size ..that’s telling you something , just imagine if he was his size..one word , unstoppable!

  6. awesomeman says:

    Yes, just because he was never a scorer doesnt mean he shouldnt be in the Hall of Fame. Like 4 DPY awards, 15 rpg which is unbelievable at 6’8″. Add a Ring to his finger, and he was a big part of it too, not just a role player.

  7. Bjork Wrist says:

    If he’d won MVP four times he’d be in the hall. So of course he gets to be in the hall.

    Wait… what does being in the hall of fame actually mean?

  8. Nomer says:

    Thanks for slowing down Shaq…

  9. Lefteris says:

    this gets my back… waaay back

  10. the boy wonder says:

    Big Ben is the Bill Russell of his era! His impeccable timing on the defensive end is second to none! I collected his nba cards because of my love for his game. How he changed the piston’s personality. He deserves to be in the HOF!

  11. WADE FLASHY says:

    HE AIN’t even 6’9. I think his actual height is close to 6’7

  12. steveshuaz says:

    I gotta respect Big Ben. Not the most talented player, but tough, hard nosed, defensive minded. He worked hard for not the same recognition as the offensive super stars.

  13. LetsgoMagic says:

    Ben Wallace’s defensive resume is RIDICULOUS, and the fact is, he did all of that rebounding and blocking, at a size that was small for a power forward, never mind a center.

  14. chauncey4 says:

    i hope Big Ben really makes it as a hall of famer.. HE’S BIG BEN MAN!!! if all of NBA fans would see how he defend, block, and rebound at his prime… woah!!!! YOU’RE OUT OF HIS LEAGUE DWIGHT!!!

  15. SpursFan says:

    Great player and one of the more unique players of the last decade.
    He should retire or get traded to a contender because he doesn’t deserve to be playing in that train wreck in Detroit. Heck I wouldn’t mind him coming down to San Antonio or he would probably fit well down in Orlando as a backup to Dwight because he wouldn’t have to play too many mins.

    • Gary says:

      You know it’s a sad thing too because Wallace faded out after the championship and with all the drama going on over there I can see why. Probably lost his love of the game and just kept playing for money.

  16. Vivek Shah says:

    Just saying Ben Wallace is 36 not 37 his birthday is September 10th, 1974, so he’s 36.

  17. Gary says:

    I say he deserves a place in the Hall of Fame but that should and will be a long while before he gets in.

  18. defensive is a forgotten art.guys now shot from the parking lot,so it looks like there’s no defensive being played.so to be recognized as the dennis rodman of the 21st century is a honor.defensive is harder to play then offensive.big ben should be hall of fame bond.if you get stops consistently you win more times then not. i can get a five year old to score,but can he or she stop their opponent.

  19. Arjun says:

    This writer’s work is really not enjoyable to read. Does anyone proofread his work? He starts paragraphs – not sentences – with “Because.” His pieces are littered with grammatical and spelling errors. I intend for this comment to be a signal to the NBA or whoever runs this site that you guys can do a much better job. I think Sekou Smith has good content, but it’s clear that no one is checking behind his work for structural, grammatical and spelling errors.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather get my information about the NBA from a site other than NBA.com.

    • jay says:

      Don’t exactly know what you’re saying. he didn’t even USE the word ‘because.’ As for his purported grammar errors, this is the internet, so first of all, grammar is practically null and void. Then, there’s the fact that he’s a sportswriter, and the objective of sports journalism is to be direct and clear in making any points. So, first and foremost. Good luck finding any site online in regards to sports that is actually proofread or marginally grammatically accurate. Then when you realize such an ideal is practically fallacious, you’ll return to nba.com.

      • Pete says:

        Jay- Since when did the Internet become a place for poor grammar? I don’t recall Al Gore making that rule when he invented the Internet. All good journalism, including sports journalism is direct and clear due to proper writing skills and grammar.

      • Badboys says:

        The only grammitical error in this article is that the second quotation mark was omitted at the end of this quote: ” “But I have to do what’s best for me as far as my body. This is a nice, revealing article about a GREAT basketball defensive player with character to match, Ben Wallace.

    • goceltics says:

      And would you please point out a word that he misspelled? Sure, he had a whole paragraph that was just one sentence, but overall his grammar was okay and I couldn’t find a single spelling mistake.

      • Law064 says:

        Agreed with goceltics & Jay. I don’t see any words misspelled. He do have a run on sentence for the paragraph but it’s very clear and you should be able to comprehend. Big Ben was a great defender and was a undersized Center but with his strenght he was able to hold his own.

    • anthony says:

      Shut da hell up Do it matter ? no,. so leave it alone

  20. esterical says:

    Should definitely be a hall of famer. Best defensive player to play the game. Grabbed so many rebounds, blocked so many shots, and could d up any position on the floor at any time. 6’9″, 240 lbs, the real beast of the east.

    • prix says:

      Wallace is the Main reason why they won the championship againts the 4 superstar of Lakers,2 Wallace and fearlss Chauncy plus the defense of Prince, L.A have no match ending the caeer of Malone as a failure!

    • Badboys says:

      Amen! I agree 200%!