Rasheed Wallace has enjoyed a very nice career as a player in the NBA. However, most fans see him an an outspoken hot head more than someone they could see wearing a suit and instructing their team. That said, his teammates love him, his demeanor and his understanding of the game. Since his return from retirement he's brought a toughness to the New York Knicks and an understanding of what it takes to win in the league. His teammates listen to him, respect him and look up to him. By all accounts, Wallace seems to have all the attributes a coach needs.
Rasheed Wallace was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets out of North Carolina. The 6'11", 230 pound power forward/center was on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1996, a four time NBA All-Star (2000, 2001, 2006, 2008) and an NBA champion in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons.
He played for the Bullets from 1995-96, the Portland Trail Blazers from 1996-2004, the Atlanta Hawks in 2004, the Detroit Pistons from 2004-09, the Boston Celtics from 2009-10, retired and returned in 2012 as a member of the New York Knicks.
Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports reports that Wallace's longtime friend Bo Donaldson say Wallace would love a future on the bench.
"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."
Wallace says he isn't thinking about his future. He shrugs off the idea of coaching. "Just playing," he insists. But he's clearly not "just playing." He's helping younger players develop their games, which is something that comes naturally for him whether in the NBA or during summer pick-up games at his old Philly high school, Simon Gratz. The media always notice his screaming at refs, but most of his talk is instructive and directed at teammates.
There is little doubt that Wallace has the teaching skills to be a coach on the NBA level. He may be a better fit as an assistant coach but there's always a chance he could work his way to a head coaching job or that there's a franchise somewhere willing to give him a shot. Guys listen to him and many of todays players grew up admiring Wallace.
However, to say that being an NBA coach is a grind would be an understatement. It takes over your life. They work very long hours and spend most of their time watching game tape and preparing game plans. There's no taking your kids to school, going out with your wife or randomly visiting your parents. There just isn't that much family time.
Being with his family was one of the main things Wallace said he loved about retirement. Has that changed? Is he really willing to sacrifice that part of his life? Is his family willing to make that sacrifice?
That is a question Wallace will have to ask himself and his loved ones before even attempting to become a coach on the NBA level. However, can anyone doubt him? Who would have thought he'd come out of retirement and return to the NBA?
Wallace is not a man you doubt. He's the type you sit back and watch because whatever he decides to do and puts his mind to he can achieve. Coach Wallace? It could happen. If it does, look for him to lead all coaches in technical fouls.
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