Clearly, Rasheed Wallace is one of the most intriguing players in recent league history to NBA bloggers. The pre-All-Star Break rumors, which to this point have turned out to be untrue, that he’d come out of retirement to play for the Lakers have sparked a bunch of looks back at his really interesting career. The latest is from Grantland’s Jay Caspian Kang:
Rasheed Wallace excelled at two basketball things. The first: He was an elite one-on-one post defender who could match up against Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett or Tracy McGrady without needing a double-team. Basketball’s ongoing love affair with Tyson Chandler has helped elevate the perceived importance of this particular skill, but there’s no reliable way to measure just how much impact this has on a team’s overall defense. The second: Rasheed Wallace, by all accounts, understood the pace and rhythm of the game. He knew when he should go on the block, he knew when he should shoot from the top of the arc, he knew when to defer to hot teammates. These instincts and the accuracy with which they are applied get lost somewhere in the vagaries of “basketball IQ,” the extremes of which are easy to spot.
I can’t do it justice with excerpts. It’s long, but well worth your time if you’re a ‘Sheed fan.