After the official signing of Chris Wilcox to the Pistons’ roster this week, it looks as if Joe Dumars has nearly completed his roster upheaval, in the process creating a necessary youth movement that has left old stalwarts Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton as the rosters village elders. Even with Rip and Tayshaun, this leaves the Pistons in great shape for the next couple of years, age wise, considering that they are only 29 and 31 respectively. As enticing as the prospect of this youthful team seems, we need an elder statesman among the group and I am calling for Joe Dumars to make that elder statesman none other than Ben Wallace.
As many of you know, national reports have put Ben Wallace and Rasho Nesterovich as the two main targets of the Pistons to round out the 09/10 season roster (barring any sort of trade, of course). I know many people look at Ben Wallace and are either pissed off that he left for Chicago a few years back or think he has nothing left in the tank. Little old me, on the other hand, thinks neither. The man did what he had to do financially for his family, so be it. We all know he crashed and burned in Chicago and then Cleveland. Of course, a nasty break of his leg at the end of last year didn’t do much to help the aging defensive stopper’s cause. Yes, I admit he is aging and, yes, I admit that he hasn’t thrived in the past few years, so why the hell would I want him back?
Our current collection of “posts” are Kwame Brown, Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva, and Chris Wilcox. All are young and could benefit from the presence of Ben Wallace. He would work their asses off in practice, set an example in the workout room, and provide defensive instruction that is needed. On top of that, the man can still play 15 minutes and get you 5 to 7 rebounds. If anyone thinks that coming to Detroit would not rejuvenate him, I disagree. The past two years Big Ben looked disinterested and watching him on the bench of the Cavs last year was like watching Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire, having no soul. Give Ben back his soul and let him play as the 4th or 5th big man and I believe we have some defensive credibility that will give the front line a little more bite.
Personally I would love to see Wilcox and Wallace with duo fros, igniting the Palace crowd this season. Sorry to any Rasho fans out there, but he reminds me of Nazr Mohammad, and we all know how well that worked out. Plus I don’t think I can watch Frankenstein run up and down the court 15 minutes a game. Let’s be real here, the Pistons are not going to contend for a Championship this year, and it kills me to say that, but it would be downright fun to hear the Big Ben Chime ring throughout the Palace a few more times, allowing Mr. Wallace to make amends for leaving, ending his career in the uniform that made him the star he was.