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Tag:Ben Wallace
Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:32 am
 

Ben Wallace pleads guilty to DUI, weapons charges

By Matt Moore

From the Detroit News:
Detroit Pistons star Ben Wallace pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges Tuesday morning stemming from a Sept. 24 drunken driving arrest.

Wallace, 37, faces a Dec. 13 sentencing in Oakland Circuit Court on one count each of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possessing a firearm while operating a vehicle while intoxicating. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail.

It was revealed in court Tuesday that the Detroit Piston's blood alcohol level was .14, nearly double the .08 considered intoxicated under Michigan law.
via Detroit Pistons - NBA | Ben Wallace pleads guilty to misdemeanors in drunken driving arrest | The Detroit News.

As we discussed at the time of his arrest, Wallace, head been pursuing a dream of becoming a lawyer. And then got hit by this. It continuously amazes fans and media how you can get popped for DUI. You have unlimited resources in pursuit of a ride home. Limo. Taxi. Friends. Other ballplayers. Personal pedi-cycle. But then, so do most people, and that doesn't keep the DUI rates in this country from dropping. 

It's unlikely Wallace will be sentenced the maximum sentence. Prosecutors already dropped a charge on carrying a concealed weapon. The gun Wallace was carrying in a backpack was registered to his wife. 


 
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: September 29, 2011 10:24 am
 

Ben Wallace arrested for drunk driving, weapons

By Matt Moore

The Detroit Free Press reports that Pistons forward Ben Wallace was arrested Saturday for drunk driving and possession of a concealed weapon, according to a police press release. 
Detroit Piston Ben Wallace is facing a 5-year felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon after police found an unloaded pistol in a backpack in his car as they arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving Saturday in Bloomfield Township.

When officers searched his car, they discovered an unloaded pistol in a backpack in the “passenger compartment” of the vehicle, according to a news release issued by the police department today.

Wallace, 37, is expected to appear Oct. 3 for a pre-examination conference in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township, according to police. He has been arraigned on a 93-day misdemeanor charge of drunken driving and a 5-year felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon, police said, without specifying what day he appeared in court.
via Detroit Piston Ben Wallace faces drunken driving, weapons charges | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

It's surprising this took five days to come out. It's also surprising because in July, Wallace gave an interview to the Detroit News about his goal of becoming a lawyer. Apparently that was because he wanted to be able to represent himself. 

Drunk driving is a serious enough charge legally on its own, but possession of a concealed weapon while drunk driving is a compound offense of recklessness.  The Detroit News reports that the weapon was unarmed and concealed in a backpack.  Wallace is owed over $2.2 million by the Pistons next year in the last year of his contract. He was expected to retire at the end of the season. The report states that Wallace was over the legal limit of .08% BAC, but did not specify his exact reading.
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 3:26 am
 

Rip Hamilton's messed up situation

The Pistons are imploding and at the center of it all is Rip Hamilton as reports continue to fly about the meltdown in Motor City. Yes, that is the best lede we could come up with.

Posted by Matt Moore


Following Ken Berger's report of the Pistons' decision to fine Chris Wilcox and Rip Hamilton, and not to fire John Kuester for the moment, we're starting to get a picture of a strangely torn and bizarre locker room, with Rip Hamilton at the center of it. Here's what we know, or at least, what we think we know. Bear with us, because at this point trying to figure out the Pistons is like spelunking in a sewer: 


  • Berger confirms a Yahoo! report that in January, Hamilton went on an "explitive-filled diatribe" in front of the locker room, alleging Kuester had done nothing in his time in Detroit, and that he was nothing more than a career assistant coach. Now, Yahoo! makes a leap and says that the younger players were shocked by the tirade.  Except that Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye probably fit in that model of young players and yet they were part of Hamilton's "cabal" or whatever you want to call it. In reality, it appears immensely more likely that the locker room was surprised at Hamilton going off, but agreed. 
  • If true, it certainly paints Hamilton in a clear light as the source of all this discontent. His tirade led to his benching, he's refused to communicate with his coach or GM, and now this boycott/protest/whatever it was. If Hamilton was offered an out and turned it down because of the $9 million.  Now, $9 million is a lot of money. But when you factor in the contract money he'd pull from another contender, the playoff revenue he'd pull in, and future earnings, the payoff may not make up the $9 million, but it makes it nearly negligible. It doesn't change the fact that the Pistons agreed to pay Hamilton the remaining $25 million when he signed the latest contract with them.  But it removes Hamilton's ground to stand on, since the Pistons have offered him a reasonable way out, especially considering their financial and ownership situation.  Instead, Hamilton seems to be waging a players' revolt against the organization to undermine the coach, regardless of whether ownership can afford to fire Kuester in this situation or not. 
  • Making it even more complicated is part of the ESPN report which claims that an earlier boycott was planned prior to All-Star weekend, but after management assurances Kuester would be fired over the weekend, they backed down. Until Friday. 

So now Hamilton is still trying to work a buyout, which Berger terms as "unlikely" while the Pistons are in complete disarray, the coaching staff has no control over its players, management can't make decisions because of an ownership situation in flux, and ownership can't get out fast enough, requesting an extension from the league to finally get the team passed to new ownership. 

Things are bad in Cleveland. They're bad in Sacramento. They're bad in New Orleans.

You could argue they're worse in Detroit. 

Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 3:26 am
 

Rip Hamilton's messed up situation

The Pistons are imploding and at the center of it all is Rip Hamilton as reports continue to fly about the meltdown in Motor City. Yes, that is the best lede we could come up with.

Posted by Matt Moore


Following Ken Berger's report of the Pistons' decision to fine Chris Wilcox and Rip Hamilton, and not to fire John Kuester for the moment, we're starting to get a picture of a strangely torn and bizarre locker room, with Rip Hamilton at the center of it. Here's what we know, or at least, what we think we know. Bear with us, because at this point trying to figure out the Pistons is like spelunking in a sewer: 


  • Berger confirms a Yahoo! report that in January, Hamilton went on an "explitive-filled diatribe" in front of the locker room, alleging Kuester had done nothing in his time in Detroit, and that he was nothing more than a career assistant coach. Now, Yahoo! makes a leap and says that the younger players were shocked by the tirade.  Except that Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye probably fit in that model of young players and yet they were part of Hamilton's "cabal" or whatever you want to call it. In reality, it appears immensely more likely that the locker room was surprised at Hamilton going off, but agreed. 
  • If true, it certainly paints Hamilton in a clear light as the source of all this discontent. His tirade led to his benching, he's refused to communicate with his coach or GM, and now this boycott/protest/whatever it was. If Hamilton was offered an out and turned it down because of the $9 million.  Now, $9 million is a lot of money. But when you factor in the contract money he'd pull from another contender, the playoff revenue he'd pull in, and future earnings, the payoff may not make up the $9 million, but it makes it nearly negligible. It doesn't change the fact that the Pistons agreed to pay Hamilton the remaining $25 million when he signed the latest contract with them.  But it removes Hamilton's ground to stand on, since the Pistons have offered him a reasonable way out, especially considering their financial and ownership situation.  Instead, Hamilton seems to be waging a players' revolt against the organization to undermine the coach, regardless of whether ownership can afford to fire Kuester in this situation or not. 
  • Making it even more complicated is part of the ESPN report which claims that an earlier boycott was planned prior to All-Star weekend, but after management assurances Kuester would be fired over the weekend, they backed down. Until Friday. 

So now Hamilton is still trying to work a buyout, which Berger terms as "unlikely" while the Pistons are in complete disarray, the coaching staff has no control over its players, management can't make decisions because of an ownership situation in flux, and ownership can't get out fast enough, requesting an extension from the league to finally get the team passed to new ownership. 

Things are bad in Cleveland. They're bad in Sacramento. They're bad in New Orleans.

You could argue they're worse in Detroit. 

Posted on: December 6, 2010 9:35 am
 

Shootaround 12.6.10: The Brad Miller Engine

Miller drops his man, Gortat is a soccer nut, Z-BO for USA, and the worst half of basketball ever, all in today's Shootaround.  Posted by Matt Moore

Knicks blog Posting and Toasting says Danilo Galinari needs to make Landry Fields his hero: "Gallo has returned to chilling around the three-point arc and waiting for kick-outs. Even there, his conversion rate has been uncomfortably low. One way he might see more opportunities is to do what Chandler and Landry Fields have been doing and dive in diagonally or along the baseline when Stoudemire receives the ball around the free throw line. It's not like Gallo's hurting the team (5 assists, 4 boards, and decent enough defense on the perimeter), but he can do much more to help them. 2-7 isn't the kind of output you expect from someone with Gallo's scoring ability."

Zach Randolph wants to play for Team USA. I'm curious as to whether Zach realizes that the traditional block concept is nearly absent in international play. 

Marcin Gortat was a huge soccer fan and played it almost exclusively until he was 18 when he found basketball. Add him to the list of guys you'd put on a soccer team from NBA players with Steve Nash being the obvious first overall choice. 

Behold: The worst half of basketball ever.

Brad Miller dropped the man coming around his screen this weekend. Unfortunately, it was his own man

Ben Wallace is so good even at his age that bloggers know they're taking him for granted: "I don’t spend much time writing about Wallace anymore because, frankly, he’s just so consistently good that I don’t think it needs pointing out. But he, along with Hamilton and Prince, was part of the “retro” performance I alluded to in the headline. Wallace had 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and a steal. He was an imposing presence inside and a huge reason Cleveland’s guards shot poorly. They may have been getting penetration, but Wallace blocked or altered several shots in his 24 minutes and he continued to show that he’s a great high-post passer and someone the Pistons can comfortably take advantage of on offense."

A lockout would be devastating on so many fronts, but here's another: Kevin Garnett may retire

Our own Ben Golliver on what was memorable from last night's Blazers win over the Clippers, the violence: "This game will endure for its random acts of violence. First, and most memorably, Blazers center Joel Przybilla, who was greeted with a standing ovation upon his entry to the game, was flagrantly fouled by Brian Cook with 4 second remaining in the third quarter. The mid-air hit, which sent Przybilla flying to the ground, wound up earning Cook a Flagrant Foul 2 and an immediate ejection. It also set off a tussle under Portland's basket, with Clippers point guard Baron Davis getting into Blazers forward Nicolas Batum's chest, and Przybilla and Clippers big man Craig Smith apparently getting after it as well. All four were assessed technical fouls, and the sequence resulted with Przybilla splitting the free throws awarded him for Cook's flagrant foul, for his only point of the game."

If Brad Miller is the fuel for your offense? You may need to get a new engine.

Glen Davis, meet medicine ball
Posted on: November 10, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Pistons, young and old, play like strangers

The Detroit Pistons are caught between the past and the future, without a workable present. Posted by Ben Golliverdetroit-pistons

Tuesday night ended for the Detroit Pistons with a shirtless Richard Hamilton seated, hunched over a box score placed between his legs on the locker room floor, silent, oblivious to his teammates and the world for at least five minutes. Hamilton just stared and stared and stared at the numbers, which, once again in this young season, revealed a franchise stuck between the past and the future, with a hodge-podge present that simply doesn’t function.

The Pistons had just been worked by the Portland Trail Blazers, 100-78, with Portland’s litany of injuries not affecting their ability to dominate the game on both ends, and the glass. Pick just about any statistic on Hamilton’s box score and Portland dominated the category. Rebounds: 45 to 33. Assists: 26 to 16. Shooting: 50% to 42.5%. If Hamilton was searching for a silver lining, he wasn’t immediately finding one, and by the time he finally trudged off to the shower room, some of his younger teammates had already cleaned up, dressed, conducted their post-game interviews and headed to the waiting bus.

You need not spend more than a few minutes glancing at Detroit’s roster to realize this is a team divided, a group that, even with maximum effort and improvement from all of its rising players, isn’t constructed for short-term success. “We played like strangers,” Pistons coach John Kuester said after the game, making reference to his team’s ability to register just five second-half assists, but the statement fairly encapsulated the 2010-2011 Pistons as a whole.

Hamilton and old guard championship teammates Ben Wallace and Tayshaun Prince occupied one side of the post-game locker room, heads down, voices monotone, after the loss. Prince didn’t mince words when discussing his frustration. “It’s everything. Not just one thing. Everything. It’s always that way when you’re not winning. Even our wins didn’t feel like wins. When that happens, you know it’s a problem.”

A problem for Prince, perhaps, but his younger teammates on the other side of the locker room didn’t seem as touched, as Charlie Villanueva laughed and smiled, second-year forward Austin Daye exuded a flat air of relative indifference, and a shell-shocked Greg Monroe looked like he was trying to escape his decision to turn pro as he hustled quickly out of the locker room with headphones drowning out the world.

The night ended with that distinct divide, but it started that way too. Two hours before the game, Daye, Monroe and DaJuan Summers worked through their shootaround routines together, looking to develop skills under the tutelage of the team’s assistant coaches, and to enjoy a few laughs. Only after the young trio ceded the court did Prince and Wallace take the court, briefly and mostly in silence, to get their blood going before the game.

Asked to define the team’s identity after he completed his pre-game workout, Daye stuttered briefly before admitting the group feels like two halves of a team that haven’t yet joined together. “We’ve got older guys, younger guys, we’re trying to mesh it all together,” Daye said. He also pointed to himself, Monroe, Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon as possible core pieces for Pistons president Joe Dumars going forward. “He’s just trying to get a good nucleus and we’ll see where he goes.”

The in-game product evinced this generation gap, as Detroit’s offense was predicated almost entirely on which one of four perimeter players would shoot a jump shot, while Wallace was tasked with claiming any and all rebounds by himself. On defense, the Pistons leaked points, giving up 36 in the first quarter to the Blazers, the most Portland has scored in a quarter all season long. Multiple times Prince snapped at Daye for either missing a rotation or losing contact with his larger opponent, Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who ate the lithe Daye alive on the block, to the tune of 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Prince said he was only trying to help Daye. “I’m talking to him a lot because he’s in a tough position. Usually when you’re at a disadvantage, guarding a bigger guy, playing out of position, you want him to stay in contact with that guy so he can work the boards at all times. We’re asking him to do a lot. Not only asking him a lot to do a lot on defense but also keep a 7-footer off the boards every game. His job is harder than everybody else’s.”

Daye’s task isn’t just harder than everyone else’s though, it’s impossible. A pure shooting prototypical small forward who has worked to develop his NBA range, Daye is mismatched against just about every NBA power forward when the Pistons play him at the four spot in their undersized starting lineup. The positional switch is by necessity, so that Daye can get enough minutes to develop with Hamilton and Prince ingrained as mainstays, but given the directionless path Detroit is on, the lineup feels short-sighted. For his part, Daye says doesn’t mind it. “The playing time is a lot better,” he said with a smile before the game. Better to be playing out of position, than not playing at all.

But  the playing time would be even better for Daye, who is averaging 21 minutes a night, should the Pistons move either Hamilton or Prince in a midseason trade, allowing him to transition into a more natural perimeter role. League sources tell CBSSports.com that trade speculation surrounding Prince is accurate. Watching him slowly pull on his leather boots one by one after another defeat, it seems like a move is in the best interest of all involved parties. 

Should either Hamilton or Prince be moved, a big man capable of manning the glass and establishing a low post presence would seem to be the clear target. “It obviously hurts just having Ben as our only primary rebounder out there … I’m pretty sure all but one game we’ve been out-rebounded so we’ve just got to do better,” Prince said.

But he didn’t sound convincing when he uttered those words. Surely he realizes that Detroit’s biggest problem, rebounding -- they’re currently ranked No. 28 in the league in overall rebound rate -- is a matter of personnel and not effort. “Doing better” is not a viable solution for this team's rebounding ails. Better players is.

Nevertheless, after an extended post-game conversation with his team, Kuester finally faced the media and was asked how the Pistons might play more consistently throughout the course of a game. “I can’t pinpoint what we can do, but I do know we have to become better,” he said.

And that said it all. Hoping to do better, but with no specific plan to make it happen.

There really are no answers for this group, no matter how long you stare at the box score or how you juggle the lineups. It’s time to hit the trade market, and get started on the future.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 5:12 pm
 

Preseason Primers: Detroit Pistons

Posted by Matt Moore

Things could have gone worse for the Pistons last year. It would have taken an outbreak of the bubonic plague or an appearance from classic Ron Artest, but things could have gone worse. They had horrific injury issues, and when healthy, their big free agents struck far below their goals. The team is still seemingly in a transition period, as everyone waits for Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, or both to get moved, ending the 2004 starters once and for all. But in the meantime, John Kuester's got to get this team back on track. They have way too high a payroll in this economy to have performed as they did. If things don't turn around quickly, the situation could get hot all over in Detroit. With that, we turn to our Preseason Primer on the Pistons. 

Training camp site:  Detroit, MI

Training camp starts:  Sept. 27 

Key additions:  Tracy McGrady (free agency)

Key subtractions:  Kwame Brown (free agency), Greg Monroe (draft)

Likely starting lineup:   Rodney Stuckey (PG), Rip Hamilton (SG), Tayshaun Prince (SF), Charlie Villanueva (PF), Ben Wallace (C)

Player to watch:
 Ben Gordon. Gordon was the premier free agent for the Pistons as they tried to reconfigure their team. Instead, he was pretty bad last year, when injuries didn't keep him off the floor. His shot wasn't there. And Ben Gordon without a shot is like a bike without wheels. It's shiny, but it also doesn't actually do anything. He's not a tremendous defender, he's bad when it comes to creating opportunities for his teammates, and you're banking on him being a volume shooter. So if he's shooting poorly (his eFG%-factoring field goal percentage with threes factored- plummeted to 47% from 52% the prior year), he's not giving you much. He's pledged to be more aggressive this season, and if he bounces back, the Pistons will too... a little bit. Gordon needs to hit camp running, get the starting job, and become the premier talent the Pistons are paying him to be.

Chemistry quiz:
 It's either an egg waiting to be hatched, or a time bomb set to go off. Rip Hamilton hasn't been happy the last few years, and he and Tayshaun Prince, the last remaining members of the '04 championship team, have been on the trade block for years now. That situation could sour quickly if Dumars gets involved in late-stage discussions (to the point where one or both of the two are notified to start packing) and it falls apart. From there? There's no real sense of how these guys will do together, because the main cogs haven't been together that long. Stuckey's been around for years, but Will Bynum is still getting comfortable along with Gordon and Villanueva. Oh, Villanueva. That's a whole other story.

Injury watch:
 The entire team. Every single one of them. Only four players played more than 70 games last season. That team needs healing potion more than your level 78 mage.

Camp battles:
 The easy out here is shooting guard as Ben Gordon tries for 400th time in his career to win a starting spot while Rip Hamilton keeps his death grip. But given the odds that both of them will be healthy for the duration of camp, this one's hard to classify as a battle, especially with how willing Gordon is to accept a sixth man award role. The real battle is likely to be at power forward, where Jason Maxiell is no longer the kiddo and could make a legitimate push for the starting power forward slot if Charlie Villanueva doesn't show the requisite toughness for Kuester. And while Greg Monroe probably won't win it, his raw ability may put him into a fight with 84-year-old veteran Ben Wallace. All of this is before the Pistons' biggest dilemma. Dynamic Will Bynum who can be inefficient and force things at times, or Rodney Stuckey, who can simply vanish now and then. Pretty much Prince is the only one locked in.

Biggest strength:
 They can't be as bad as last year? The team has scorers, if they're healthy. If they can find a system that works to their strengths, they can put points up on the board. Villanueva is versatile and athletic, Gordon can detonate at any time, Monroe is going to be a great pick, and the team can attack the rim relentlessly... again, when healthy.

Glaring weakness:
 Defense. Clap clap. Defense. The Pistons were the fifth worst team in defensive efficiency last year. Some of that is injury related, but a large part of it is that Dumars gambled on heavy offense free agents subscribing to the system, and that just didn't happen. Ben Wallace was downright inspiring last year, but he's just got too many miles on him. This team is inconsistent, and seems to have problems with differing agendas. Camp needs to gel them on the defensive end.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 2:14 pm
 

Rodney Stuckey: "On paper, we are the best team"

Posted by Royce Young

Ah, mid-September. It's the wonderful time where not only are fanbases hopelessly optimistic, but even the players get a little sense of unbridled bias that leads to a lapse in reality.

Take Michael Beasley for example, who mentioned that the Wolves are the team to beat last week. Or Rodney Stuckey, who told Dime Magazine in an interview that "On paper, we are the best team in the league."

As Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk wisely put it,
"What paper? Rolling?"

Now again, this isn't something new. Brash players tend to talk... brashly in September. And why not? You're already in first place, your front office (supposedly, theoretically) made you better and if you just play like you're supposed to, everything will be alright.

But it doesn't make it any less fun to point out these comments from players. The Pistons should be better. Last year was tough but "on paper," they improved. Who knows, in the East, anybody could realistically be a low-seed playoff team. Especially on paper.

Still, do names like Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon, Tracy McGrady and Ben Wallace really look that good on paper? As good as Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and whoever else is on that one team? Or even as good as Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo? Or as good as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum? I think I've made my point here.

It's a curious thing as to why players make bold statements like these. Is it to try and fire up fanbases? Is it to try and develop and us versus the world mentality when everyone tells you you're crazy? Is it just a confidence thing? Or could they possibily, actually believe it?

Whatever the answer is on that, the lesson here is, professional athletes don't always speak with the head, but more often with the heart. And really, there's nothing wrong with that.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com