Ben Wallace will head to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, where he will be inducted with the 2021 class on Saturday, September 11.
The big star is best known for his four Defensive Player of the Year awards, which ties him to Dikembe Mutumbo for the most in NBA history, but there are many other awards and accolades that bolster his curriculum vitae.
Wallace has been a four-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA member, six-time All-Defensive member, two-time rebound champion, once blocks champion and once NBA champion, winning the title with the Pistons. of Detroit in 2004.
In honor of the great defenseman of all time, our NBA.com team looks back on the best moments of Wallace’s career.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): The first moment that comes to my mind is Wallace block on Shaquille O’Neal.
You probably know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, feast your eyes:
Ben Wallace turns 45.
🚫 4x Defensive Player of the Year
⭐️ 4x NBA All-Star
He was an absolute force pic.twitter.com/n5lVv4hQ1I
– NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 10, 2019
It’s arguably the most memorable game of Wallace’s career, but it just shows what made him such a defensive force. Wallace is listed as being four inches shorter and 85 pounds (!) Lighter than Shaq, and yet he had the superhuman strength – as well as the perfect timing – to keep Shaq from even getting shot to force a jump ball. .
The list of players in NBA history who could do that to Shaq is not long.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): Not to graft onto Shaq here, but Wallace’s Game 5 performance in the 2004 NBA Finals to shut down O’Neal and the Lakers is close to my heart.
The Pistons held a 3-1 lead in the series with the possibility of closing the final and winning the NBA title at home, and Wallace did everything in his power to make that happen. The two-time defensive player of the year was playing with something to prove in the 2004 playoffs after being snubbed for his third consecutive DPOY honor. (He would later win the 2004-05 and 2005-06 Defensive Player of the Year awards, narrowly missing the award in five consecutive seasons.)
Wallace dominated the closing game of Game 5, scoring 18 points, 22 rebounds, three steals, one block and one assist, setting the tone for his first and only NBA championship.
He had a few jaw-dropping plays at both ends of the floor, as he always does. A first-quarter streak that started with a steal and ended in a fastbreak dunk coast-to-coast was something few great men are capable of. In the third quarter, he sent the Palace of Auburn Hills into a frenzy with an electrifying dunk on Bryon Russell. Later that quarter he also made an insane block on O’Neal, but he was called up for goalie.
Finally, there was no better way to end the game and seal the fate of an NBA championship than a vicious setback to Shaq’s head.
Wallace was a different breed of great man.
Gilbert McGregor (@ GMcGregor21): Scott and Kyle both described the most memorable moments for me regarding Wallace’s career, so I’m going to take a slightly different path here.
When I think of Wallace, I think of his aura. For a lot of people in my generation, he made defense cool. He made being the hardest working player on the pitch look cool.
The fro, the braids, the headband, the bicep bands, being the first unnamed player Allen Iverson to grace the cover of NBA 2K, “The Final Countdown” playing while the Pistons’ PA announcer yelled “BBB-Bennnnn Wallace, “Big Ben’s bell rang when he played a big blow… all that.
The image I will always have in my mind of Big Ben is that he brings the spray paint over the scorers table graphic to cross out number one, meaning the Pistons had won 16 games to win the final of NBA 2004. There was no better person to do it, and to me that sums up how iconic he was.
Not bad for an undrafted center.
Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane): While some of his best performances came in the playoffs, Wallace delivered one of his most memorable games against the Miami Heat in the regular season in 2002, registering a triple-double with blocks.
Since 2000, only 14 players have recorded a triple-double with blocks, with Wallace scoring two in his career. His first came earlier in 2002 in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, but against the Heat he tallied 12 points, 19 rebounds and tied a franchise-high with 10 blocks to lead them to victory.
Wallace set a Pistons record with just six blocks in the first quarter.
While we are used to seeing triple doubles with regularity these days, in the 2002-03 season there were only 42 triple doubles in total. Getting a triple-double with blocks is another thing.
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