The Basketball Media Has Discovered Gerald Wallace
For over five years, the Bobcats faithful have watched Gerald Wallace throw his body across the court, attempting to make the effort plays that few are willing to risk. Anyone that’s ever played basketball understands how hard it is to run end-to-end on every play. Imagine sprinting, leaping, sliding, diving and picking yourself up to do it all over again for the length of an NBA game. Wallace’s athletic abilities should catch any basketball fan’s attention, but the effort he exhibits each game is hard not to admire. “Crash” is finally starting to build a following outside of the small Bobcats cult. This past week we’ve seen several major sports news outlets share some love for Gerald and his impressive play this season.
NBA Fanhouse’s Tim Povtak has helped to spread the word about #3 with an article about the small-forward’s uncanny rebounding streak.
“Gerald Wallace doesn’t see this as unusual. He just sees it as a necessity for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Wallace, 6-7, 215 pounds, is bidding to become the smallest rebounding champion in NBA history, an athletic small forward who has ventured into the land of the giants.”
More good vibes followed from Sekou Smith of NBA.com
“Charlotte small forward Gerald Wallace plays with a relentless force that cannot be matched by any of his peers. He’s not celebrated the way he should be. And Hang Time’s here to change that today.
We don’t need a straw poll, secret ballots or any other of clandestine method to determine the hardest working man in basketball.”
ESPN.com has another bit of praise from Matt Moore (of the True Hoop Network, not the Carolina Panthers)
“I’m not going to sit here and say with 100 percent certainty, “Gerald Wallace is a robot sent from the future to save mankind from opposing teams’ offenses.” I’m just saying I would be very interested to see the results of an X-ray. I’m beginning to think his missing time for a collapsed lung was just factory maintenance.”
Ultimately, we don’t know what it will take for Wallace to become an All-Star. For three seasons, he’s been the most exciting and visible member of the Bobcats. Still, there’s just about zero chance that the fans will vote Gerald into the game as a starter. Can the coaches (who vote for reserves) find a better option than a player that sacrifices himself on the court, continually improves each year, and won’t let bumps, bruises, tweaked knees, dislocated shoulders, concussions, or a collapsed lung keep him on the bench?
Oddly, each off-season we hear rumblings about possible trades that will dump Gerald’s contract. It’s been hard to believe some of those trade rumors we’ve read from “insiders” over the years. There are plenty of bad contracts in the NBA, and Wallace is as good of a value as you’ll find in any pro league. Earlier this season, when the Cats were scoring 30 pts. a half, I felt horrible for Gerald. As much as I follow the Bobcats, I couldn’t help but think that Crash deserved more. Finally, Charlotte has found their identity and begun to show consistent success. Despite their early failures, Wallace never gave up. Now, try to imagine the way Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady, or Joe Johnson would conduct themselves on a team doing as bad as the Bobcats were in October/November. The Bobcats have a gem in Wallace and if he does receive a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad, those trade rumors will likely settle down this off-season.