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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Sports quiz

Rasheed Wallace, former Portland Trail Blazer, is now the proud owner of a championship ring, won last night with his new team, the Detroit Pistons. After leaving Portland late this past season, Wallace suddenly changed from a moody, sullen, hostile, disrespectful lout who refused to cooperate with the team, the league, the fans or the press to a gregarious team leader and media favorite. How can this transformation be explained?

A. Rasheed Wallace is a serious head case.

B. The Portland media are jerks.

C. The Blazers badly mismanaged Wallace, as they do most things these days.

D. All of the above.

Comments (14)

I think it's more complex than your choices allow. There's so much to it. Let's just say, Portland no longer was the right place for Sheed. I'm so glad he found a place that makes him smile (and gives him championship rings!).

I can't help it. I love the man!

Wallace is a good basketball player on a good team, and he injects a lot of emotion and desire into the Pistons' squad. However, he was not good for Portland's chemistry. I don't really like or dislike Wallace--he certainly has personality and is not afraid to be demonstrative, and that's respectable--but he is not a good fit for a team trying to clean up its image. Sometimes he can go too far and has difficulty staying out of trouble...

He clearly needs a big city with lots of sunshine. Portland can't provide that. The post-Drexler Blazers are a joke on many days, but I'm glad that this former player found a better place for himself.

OK, I over-stated the 'lots of sunshine' bit (I kept thinking LA, the presumed winner). But the point still stands, the big players who visit PDX move onto bigger careers elsewhere. If the Blazers want to become more than a good place for rookie- and intermediate-players to cut their teeth, what should the team do?

Get rid of Damon Stoudamire.

How about

E. He is happy to be in a city that actually appreciates sports

Sheed never wanted to be the team leader. However, Portland payed him 17 million and essentially had no choice but to try to make him the team leader and its star.

However, Detroit has no stars, and don't depend on Sheed to score. It's a perfect fit for him.

Yes, Sheed is a headcase, and it was a little bittersweet watching him with that trophy last night. But Man, I hate the Lakers. And this last week has been NBA music to my ears.

I think Larry Brown played a role in 'Sheeds trasformation too.

I had some insightful commentary to offer here, but Catalyst has done my work. The Blazers and Detroit are both better teams with Sheed in Motown. And we found a team to beat the Lakers in the meantime.

Everyone's a winner!

Sheed has been behaving more professionally, at least on the court, over the past 2 or 3 years if you look at his technical foul totals. I guarantee he will still have his problems in Detroit, as soon as they start losing probably.

Are you kidding me?
He may have 'still have problems' in Detroit, but there its run of the mill and ain't no ones gonna care or pay much attention. Portland was too lilly-white and prudish for my man Sheed; in Detroit he can have a tiny bit of fun and aint nobody gonna freak.

Also, right on Catalyst for the analysis about Blazers expecting Sheed to be a star when he didnt want to, and the Pistons being able to work it, and well, without 'stars' or 'leaders'.

I'm going to buck convention and answer the question with a choice allowed:


As evidence I give you Herb Brown, brother of Larry, also a proud new owner of a championship ring. Recently an assistant with Portland, he left acrimoniously, saying he "wasn't respected."

Four out of Five people at the dog park after the game last night agreed: the Trailblazers have an upper-management problem.

Anybody out there play basketball?

Sheed's game isn't about being the first option, but he's absolutely devastating filling the gaps. He can catch the ball 11.5' in the air, and he's virtually unstoppable from 12-15' on the baseline. If you have an offense based on team work, the fractions of a seconds, along with his shooting and leaping ability, that Sheed gives you really shine. If your game is to laze the ball around like the Blazers, Sheed's not being fully utilized, and all you'll see is the occasional oop or turnaround in someone's face.

Basically, same deal on defense. Sheed was always playing help and closing down lanes with the Blazers, but you don't really see the difference until everyone else is doing the same thing.

The Pistons with Larry Brown and Sheed are the most exciting team I've seen in years.

About detroit being a big city etc where sheed can get real, think again.

I doubt there's one player on the team who lives within city limits, in fact I'd be willing to bet someone a halibut (or any other swimming creature, except a whale maybe) on it. Detroit is just the namesake, its all suburbs here.

Really, I think the change has to do with Rasheed realizing he didn't have to be the star, the bad boy, or the complainer. The coaching probly helped. It was all about 'going to work' which he and the pistons did.

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