Ben Wallace continues to mentor young players

Since returning to the Pistons, Ben Wallace has been a positive influence on young players with the team. The latest example, via Keith Langlois at, is his work with Vernon Macklin:

Young big guys who ace the prerequisites – a thirst for learning and an eagerness to embrace hard work – get to attend the Ben Wallace Graduate School of Hard Knocks. Macklin sits in the front row.

“I can really say, out of everybody, he really talks to me a lot and he definitely has my back,” Macklin said. “I said to him one day, ‘I want to be like you, Big Dog.’ He said, ‘No, be like I used to be.’ This guy is really serious about this and he still loves the game, no matter how long he’s been in the league. If he sees a young guy working hard, he definitely pulls for you 110 percent.”

If the frontcourt continues to struggle as much as it did in the first game the season, Macklin will definitely get some minutes. Although it’s a longshot based on his draft position that he’ll ever develop into a rotation player, Wallace, an undersized, offensively challenged, undrafted big man from a small college is about the perfect player for Macklin to try and model his work ethic and passion for the game after.

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