Smack / Aug 8, 2009 / 6:49 am

Ben Wallace is coming back home, and the Grizzlies are staying at home

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

You know if Ben Wallace was from, say, Antigua instead of Alabama, people would start questioning whether he’s been pulling a Miguel Tejada on us — that he’s really 3-4 years older than what he’s listed. (He’s officially 35.) It was only a couple years ago that Big Ben was still a force: getting his double-digit boards and two blocks a night on auto-pilot, staying deep in the Defensive Player of the Year discussion, and pulling down superstar-level money in the process. Seemingly overnight, things done changed: Wallace has only been as attractive as his expiring contract, he was barely a factor in the latter part of his tenure with the Bulls and his entire run in Cleveland, and now he’s settling for minimum-level money. What happened? Big Ben is headed back to Detroit now, agreeing to a one-year, $1.3M deal with the Pistons yesterday … Kind of strange that with all the work Joe Dumars has done to give the Pistons a makeover from their Ben Wallace/Chauncey Billups-era heyday, now he goes and brings back one of the original blasts from the past. Just having Ben around could indirectly raise expectations in Detroit to an unreasonable level, but the team needed to do something. Their frontcourt rotation was patchwork at best with Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox, and rookie Jonas Jerebko, and they could use some muscle and experience. But does Wallace have anything left? … If LeBron was hoping to just make the negativity surrounding his offseason go away by addressing all the issues this week and watching them disappear, he got the wrong idea. After clearing the air on the “dunk tape” and his 2010 free agency, LBJ then discussed the Orlando Non-Handshake: “I look at the handshake like this,” James said. “During the regular season, no one ever says anything. We play 82 regular season games, eight preseason games, guys at the end of the game, no one ever shakes hands. Ever. And you move on to the next game. The congratulations, I congratulated Dwight (Howard) via e-mail, told him congratulations and good luck in the Finals. The shaking hands thing is really not a big thing for me. It’s not [like] I’m a sore loser or anything like that. I’m just moving on. You guys beat me. I think sometimes people want you to accept losing, and I will never accept losing. There’s ways to handle it certain times, and shaking hands may be it. But I will never accept losing, at anything that I do.” … Dime’s Aron Phillips is in Cleveland for the LeBron James Innovation & Inspiration Summit, and along with stories about ‘Bron that he’ll share with you guys later, threw in this note last night: “In the streets of Cleveland, just ran into Ron Harper. He definitely holds down the blocks.” … Last weekend in Smack we speculated that O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay and the rest of the Grizzlies could be on their way to a new city (Seattle) if things keep going the way they’re going financially. But probably the reason the Grizzlies aren’t the New Sonics right now is their lease with the FedEx Forum and the city of Memphis, which would cost an owner a sh*tload of money to break at this point. On that note, Griz owner Michael Heisley said the team isn’t going anywhere (soon). “The team cannot be moved,” Heisley told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. “It isn’t me saying this to be a good guy. There are obligations and commitments to the city and county. It’s ridiculous to think we can move this team.” … Meanwhile, Heisley’s basketball people in the front office continue to make jokes of themselves. GM Chris Wallace has already earned the nickname “The Money Launderer” in multiple circles for getting involved in trades that seemingly don’t help his team whatsoever but allow everyone else to operate smoothly (Pau Gasol?), and today did it again: The Grizzlies sent a second-round pick to the Nuggets for Steven Hunter and a 2010 pick. Yes, the same Hunter whose knee kept him out all last year, the same Hunter who plays the same position (center) where the Grizzlies already go three-deep including rookie project Hasheem Thabeet. The Nuggets’ first-rounder next year is most likely gonna be in the 23-28 range, so why even make the move? Oh yeah, it helps the Nuggets save $7.4 million in luxury taxes … After comments on his (alleged) Twitter page made it look like Big Baby Davis was getting frustrated with the speed of Boston’s effort to re-sign him, Baby told Danny Ainge it actually wasn’t him, it was a Twitter impostor. We kind of had our suspicions when the pretend-Baby tweeted, “Man this whole-grain bagel is good.” … We’re out like Steven Hunter …

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  • Sean Homes

    i hope he plays like he was before

  • Flying_Aussie_Dutchman

    Wat number Big Ben going to wear?? Stucky is number 3

  • BRUCE

    Big Ben is getting the veteran minimum and AI is still unsigned.

  • yw

    Detroit basketball sux

  • sh!tfaced

    Big Ben should buy his number back from Stuckey, like what Antoine Walker did with Big Al when he was traded back to Boston a few years back. It’s gonna be weird seeing Wallace in a Pistons jersey wearing a different number.

    So one-way street LeBron is okay at taking handshakes only when he wins and doesn’t do the same when he loses? It’s called SPORTSMANSHIP, dumbass. And I guess its safe to say LeBron won’t be in politics in the future because he stinks at PR and he’s a lousy politician.

    Still waiting for “The Money Launderer” to help out his former mates at Boston. They need a third team in acquiring Marquis Daniels so they can save their bi-annual exception.

  • capnkimo

    At first I thought Big Baby was lying but yeh that line is a bit ridiculous

  • mac

    Shelden Williams and now Big Baby Davis. What’s up, Celts, who’s running the show, a phrenologist?

  • timmy D

    Hey I agree that all the Grizzlies do is moves for financial reasons but taking on Steven Hunter to get a 1st round pick and 3 million cash is a good deal. Especially b/c next years draft is really deep and some good players always fall and I bet some really good players fall next year. And it never hurts to have 3 1st round draft picks

  • Shrink This

    I like LBJ but that handshake excuse is garbage. His PR guy has really got to step it up.

    Whether you like it or not LeBron, a lot of kids look up to you and while not shaking hands isn’t the end of the world, I don’t think it sends a very good message to them (Yes Charles, we remember, you’re not a role model, a point you’ve proven now).

  • danny

    Lmao. Lebron never accepts losing??!? he’s been a loser for 7 years now. Jesus, this guy has a warped mind of what he’s been doing in the league.

  • That’s whats up

    a lebron james team never panics

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs before Slamball

    Dude didn’t mind huggin and kissin on tim duncan after the spurs swept his ass and stayed for the post game questions then…but now that hes all gased, its ok for him to be above that. Must suck when you have your best season, are considered the best team in the league and then get stomped out by a lowly magic team who owned you all season anyway. No one said accept bein a loser but at least respect a guy good enough to beat you.

    As for big ben, who cares if he has anything left. If guys like sean marks and brian cardinal, bo outlaw (a few years back) can stay in the league big ben has to be worth something. And ya, how the heck doesn’t iverson have a job yet?

  • http://n/a Heaven is a Playground

    The LBJ not shaking hands issue is retarded. It’s not like he’s getting charged for rape. Let the man not shake hands after losing, I would be upset too if I lost to a bunch of guys who juice (Magic team).

  • http://GoFuckYourselfForClickingOnMyName That’s whats up

    man, iverson is going to (unfortunately) have another big (but selfish) year because of the lack of love he’s getting

  • That’s whats up

    iverson will be gunning for 30 every night to prove he’s not done, all while still not understanding the bigger picture

    sad to waste talent like that AI

  • Kermit The Washington

    Man, Bron just doesn’t get it. Not being able to accept losing means that you ARE a sore loser. Hellooooo….

  • doc

    Shake hands,dont shake hands,who gives a rat ass.Whoever still has a hard-on for that needs his manhood checked.Plenty of people did it before.MJ,Bird,Barkley,Zeke,Magic.Once in they life they got that ass kicked without shaking hands.And if u shaked hands after every beatdown u took,in my book u are a pussy.Sometimes u supposed to be pissed.Whoever think bringing Big Ben back raises expectations dont watch the games anyway.And in my head trading a 2nd round pick for a player and a 1rst round pick is coming UP not the other way around.

  • doc

    The 72 Olympic team aint shake hands or accept they medals.Why they aint sore losers?Because the whole America lost and its okay to be sore when your ass was in the whipping I guess.Why Bird haul ass on Zeke,why Zeke haul ass on Mike,why Mike haul ass on Shaq.U know why because great athletes get sore when they get humbled.If u stink at sports u would think u supposed to shake hands because its been ingrained in u since day 1 to get your ass whipped.

  • doc

    U beat me u can go fuck off somewhere.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    Brilliant move by the Grizzlies. Are you kidding me Dime? They do lots of dumb shit, the Grizz, but taking on a guy for cash and a 1st round pick is a no-brainer in my opinion. You never know when you can get cats like Sam Young, Blair, Josh Howard, Wayne Ellington, DeJuan Summers, mario Chalmers, Micheal Redd, Rudy Fernandez, Aaron Brooks, Glen Davis, Ramon Sessions, Marc Gasol, etc. late in the first or second round… They have space, they got a 1st rounder, the gave up nothing, they got money. They suck, but give them some credit!

  • K Dizzle

    Maaaaaan, why we still talkin about this Lebron handshake bs? Fools really care that much? If you worried about your kids emulatin Lebron, you got bigger problems than handshakes. It comes down to a deeper issue of respect. Lebron respects Duncan so he gonna shake hands when they get beasted, but he don’t respect ANYBODY on the Magic so he bounced. Does this affect anything in my life? No. Shoot, couple months ago, Jerry West came out and said he had no problems wit it so why do all these media types and bloggers? Funny thing is nobody heard shit from any NBA’ers, but everybody else wanna get they two cents in…

    I agree with doc on the Memphis deal. Yea, they usually mess up, but you get a player, cash and a first rounder for a 2nd round pick, how is that not good?

    One more thing: Heisley is a got-damned fool. First, dude phucks Vancouver instead of tryin to build a solid franchise, then bounces to Memphis where they ain’t been shit since ever, now he lookin to bounce again if he could? D Stern needs to end this fool.

    I’m out

  • LakeShow84

    @ DOC

    Lol i think the whole issue is Lebron is “supposed” to be classy and, in every reality, dude is now the golden child of the NBA.. So if the golden child shows no class on such a national spotlight of course everyone is going to jump on it.. he wouldve been twice the man had he said “Yeah i was wrong but i was just really shocked the season ended in such a way”.. its done and over with but the suckaassnigga still trying to defend it..

    Honestly i could care less about the handshake thing at this point.. him confiscating the tapes was nuff said for me..

    Lebron James is a pu$$y.. can walk only half the walk.. and true champions walk both sides..

    8.8.09 – LakeShow84

  • DuckIII IS GAY

    the 72 olympic was legitimately robbed. Watch the documentary :03 seconds from gold.

  • Ian

    doc im with you on that one who gives a SHIT about the handshake and you are right about the 72.

    danny
    how is he a loser? personally i think hes done magic with the crap cleveland has put around him. dont you think that is lebron gets a gift like gasol he would do better?? shit people need to judge all the player the same.

    post 19 perfect

    kermit sore loser?? what are we 9 dude comon that bs isnt showing good sportsmanship its NOTHING im pissed leave me alone. shit man.

    bron
    thats a bit different first trip to the finals , losing to prob the best player in the game you take the thing a bit diff they were supposed to lose that series but fast foward 2 seasons now bron is prob the best in the league has a good team , best record and the favs to make the finals , its diff you are going to be pissed that you just realized mo williams is your wing man.

  • LakeShow84

    Oh and ill tell u what happened to Ben Wallace!

    He got PAID!!

    I suspect the same thing from Hedo this year.. and the rest of his career for that matter..

  • Bill
  • Shrink This

    Who thinks this handshake shit is important? Well, someone does because Lebron’s still talking about it. And it’s probably someone interested in his best interests and/or bottom line. It might even be him.

    For a number of posters here walking off the court a sore loser seems to wash for the world’s (2nd?) greatest basketball player. But for the rest of the world, that shit isn’t a very good idea. What happens to an NCAA player if pulls that? Or an AAU player? Does anyone call them a bigger man for it? No, they end up getting called the 6th man, or the 12th man, at least for a while.

    Sure no one wants to lose or is happy about it but doing so gracefully will take you a lot further in life than being a bitch about it.

  • danny

    Ian – If you wanna judge all players the same, then why are you saying if you put lebron on kobe’s team he would do better. That’s pretty hilarious when lebron has his own team to worry about. Especially when his team was the number 1 team in the nba the other year. Fact is, he’s lost 7 straight years now. If he doesn’t win anything by his tenth year, stick a fork in em, cuz he’s done.

  • Mack Brownee

    the big baby story is much funnier now that I know it wasn’t him b/c his tweets made is seem like he’s pathetic

  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    Danny: you are an idiot.

    How long did it take Jordan to win? Does that mean he wasn’t an amazing player? Of course not. Lebron’s team has been hugely overachieving because Lebron is a ridiculously good player. The Cavs had absolutely no business having the league’s best record last year. Their second-best player was fucking Mo Williams, a Bucks castoff. Are you kidding me? This year a 37-year-old Shaq is supposed to be the missing piece. Meanwhile the Lakers are so stacked that Ron Artest – who’s better than Mo Williams – is probably the fourth-best player. That is insane.

    Also: Lebron is 24 years old and already the league’s best player. In three more years he’ll be 27. JUST entering his prime. No, he won’t be done – he’ll have just begun.

    I’m fine with hating on someone for legitimate reasons – hate on Lebron for not shaking hands, fine. It’s petty, but okay. But don’t go around pretending this guy is a loser or an overrated player. I’d argue he’s one of the league’s greatest winners because he’s done more with less than anyone since Duncan in his prime.

  • that’s whats up

    awwww…. sheeeittttt

    Why you gotta drag the Spurs into this booolsheeeeeiitt???

  • LakeShow84

    Lebron can reign from the East all he wants…

    If he grew up out West he wouldnt be shit..

  • Ian

    danny
    when did i say he would do better with kobes team?? lebron has never had half the team kobes had when he wins. i know i say kobe with a bad team doing shit and bron taking a bad team to the finals.
    are you sayin bron cant win with a in his prime shaq?? shit man thats going way far to call him a loser. who the hell considers malone or stockton losers?? no one dude comon.

    dagomar
    “I’d argue he’s one of the league’s greatest winners because he’s done more with less than anyone since Duncan in his prime.”
    i like this specially the 03 run with old vets and a bunch of castoffs.