The Ballad of Rasheed Wallace: What the Knicks Off-Season Tells Us

In case you missed it, the New York Knicks signed Rasheed Wallace. Thirteen year old Jesse would be ecstatic with this move. Truth be told, I wore number “30″ for ‘Sheed when I played basketball in middle school. The big question, despite my teenage joy, is what does this mean? Despite the fact that Wallace is out of shape and currently boxing to get ready for the NBA season (anyone familiar with Rasheed’s past finds that sentence hilarious), the Knicks are still counting on him. They keep saying that they’ll need him for the playoffs, but I’m not too sure. Let’s take a look at this and try to answer the question: “Why did the Knicks sign Rasheed Wallace?”

Option 1) They thought he’d be fun to have around.
This is fair. I’m sure Rasheed will be fun to have in the locker room and could keep the players happy. He’s a generally gregarious guy who, despite his many indiscretions early in his career, is a pretty well-liked player. Maybe that’s why the Knicks gave him a contract?

Option 2) He has good numbers in the playoffs.
His main playoff years, with Detroit (he played a strong majority of his playoff games with the Pistons), were not terribly great. This is mostly because of the Pistons team strategy back then (gauge the other team’s eyes out, er, keep the games low scoring) and less of a problem with him. He does have experience, though, having played 177 postseason games in his career. That experience can’t hurt, I guess.

Option 3) He is buddies with Mike Woodson.
This is the one that’s actually right. The two are close and, with Rasheed being closer to Woodson’s age than most players (Wallace is 38), it’s possible Woodson just wanted to hook up a friend.

The fact that the nepotism that plagues the Knicks carried over to Coach Woodson is an absolute shame, but hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite the Knicks in the ass. I would’ve rather had Scotty Machado to challenge at the point or another aging Euroleague star, but I guess he’ll do.

Written by Jesse Schneiderman.  You can see more of his work at The Cult Jar and you can follow him on twitter at @thecultjar and @JesseOneT

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Episode 40: Trade deadline Part 1

Before we get into the trades we talk about the Knicks loss to the Cavs and the Pistons strike/benching. We give our grades for the trades between the Cavs and the Clippers, the Nets and the Jazz, the Knicks and the Nuggets, Celtics and Thunder, Celtics and Cavs, and the Celtics and Kings. Download Episode 40