February 23, 2012 by staff
Ben Wallace, Ben Camey Wallace (born September 10, 1974) is an American basketball center for the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. A native of Alabama, Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University and signed with the Washington Bullets (later Wizards) as an undrafted free agent in 1996. In his NBA career, Wallace has also played the power forward position and with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers teams.
He has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, a record he shares with Dikembe Mutombo. In six seasons with the Pistons (2000-2006), Wallace made two NBA Finals appearances (2004 and 2005) and won a championship with the Pistons in 2004.
On August 3, 2000, he was traded along with Chucky Atkins to the Detroit Pistons for Grant Hill, in what was at the time considered a one-sided trade; Hill had planned to sign with Orlando as an unrestricted free agent, but the sign and trade deal allowed Hill to receive a slightly more lucrative contract while Detroit received at least some compensation for losing its marquee player. Since the trade, Wallace won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, and 2005-06 seasons, and was selected to six All-Defensive teams. In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, he led the league in both rebounds and blocked shots, the first to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon. In 2003, he was voted by fans to the first of his four NBA All-Star Game appearances as a center for the Eastern Conference.
Near the end of a November 2004 game against the Indiana Pacers, Wallace responded to a foul by Indiana’s Ron Artest by shoving Artest, which eventually led to the Pacers-Pistons brawl, involving both players and spectators. Wallace was suspended for six games, and his brother David Wallace, received a year of probation and community service for punching Indiana players in the stands.
Wallace during his tenure with the Bulls
The game was a rematch of the heated Eastern Conference finals which the Detroit Pistons won on their way to the 2004 NBA Finals where they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 on the back of Wallace’s effective and strong defense against a declining but still dominant Shaquille O’Neal.
The Pistons began a tradition of sounding a deep chime whenever “Big Ben” scored or recorded a block on Detroit’s home court, The Palace of Auburn Hills – an allusion to the original Big Ben in London. (The Bulls and Cavaliers continued the gimmick during his respective tenures with Chicago and Cleveland).
Wallace is married to Chanda and is the father of two sons, Ben Jr. and Bryce, and one daughter, Bailey. Wallace appeared on the cover of ESPN NBA 2K5. An inflatable basketball training aid of Wallace’s likeness, called the Inflatable Defender, is manufactured by PlayAir Systems. His sneaker, the Big Ben was released November 5, 2007 under Stephon Marbury’s Starbury label and sold for $14.98 at Steve & Barry’s stores. Fans often arrived at games sporting wigs in honor of his trademark afro hairstyle. However, he usually only had the afro for home games; for away games, he had his hair styled into cornrows. In 2011, Wallace was arrested and charged with DWI and carrying a concealed weapon.
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