If you haven’t been paying attention to Rasheed Wallace’s comeback with the New York Knicks this season, you’ve been missing out. As ‘Sheed has rounded into playing shape, he’s been a great contributor off the bench and a factor in the team’s strong defense and strong perimeter shooting. Pistons fans have long known that Wallace is one of the league’s smarter players when it comes to an understanding of fundamentally sound basketball, and that basketball IQ has definitely been on display this season so far.
Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports recently profiled Wallace and, it seems, Wallace’s comeback might be prep work for his next career. As a coach. No joke:
So this gang will shoot straight. They agree Woodson had everything to do with Wallace’s return. And they say Rasheed might be considering getting into coaching.
“I know for a fact that’s his aspiration,” says Donaldson. “He loves to teach. I can see him as an NBA assistant. That’s what it’ll have to be for him.”
The idea of Wallace as a coach has been discussed before – there’s even a “Coach Sheed Movement” – but it was quickly met with jokes about him getting tossed out of every game 30 seconds after the end of the national anthem. Yet this version of Sheed seems different. There have only been a handful of games, but they’ve passed without an outburst or flare-up. (At least until Friday night’s technical foul.)
“He’s more calm now,” says Donaldson. “Stepping away has helped him a lot.”
Jokes about technicals aside, I’ve never doubted that Wallace has the intelligence to be a fantastic coach. But Adelson’s article notes another important factor — Wallace really enjoyed being away from basketball, having a flexible schedule and spending time with his family. The time commitment and obsessive behavior required of coaches at the NBA level is even larger than what is required of players. I could definitely see Wallace helping a team in a sort of advisor/consultant assistant coaching role, but it’s hard to picture him taking on the responsibilities that come with being a head coach. I hope he does though, that would be highly entertaining.