Ben Wallace

From Academic Kids

This article is about the basketball player Ben Wallace. For information on the former Member of the Scottish Parliament please see Ben Wallace (UK politician).

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Ben Wallace (born September 10, 1974 in White Hall, Alabama) is a professional basketball player in the NBA who plays center (and sometimes power forward) for the Detroit Pistons. He is listed at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and 240 lbs (109 kg). As of 2005, he is regarded as the premier defensive player in the league. His nickname is "Big Ben."

Wallace has gained great notoriety in the Detroit area and nationwide, and fans often arrive at his games sporting wigs in honor of his trademark Afro hairstyle. However, he now only wears his Afro for some games; for most games, he has his hair styled into cornrows.

Contents

Basketball Career

Wallace played college basketball at Virginia Union, a Division II school. Wallace was not drafted to the NBA, but was signed as a rookie free agent by the Washington Bullets on October 2, 1996.

In 1999 Wallace was traded to the Orlando Magic alongside with Tim Legler, Terry Davis, and Jeff McInnis for Isaac Austin and on August 3, 2000, was traded again along with Chucky Atkins to the Detroit Pistons for Grant Hill. Since then he has been a defensive force, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in the 2001-02, 2002-03, and 2004-05 seasons. In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, he led the league in both rebounds and blocked shots. In 2003, he was voted by fans to his first NBA All-Star Game, as the starting center for the Eastern Conference. Wallace became the first undrafted player to ever start in an All-Star game. He, along with Chauncey Billups, captained the Pistons' 2004 NBA championship team.

He finished second in the league in rebounds and blocks per game for the 2003-04 season. His career highs for one game are 28 rebounds and 10 blocks, although he has never scored more than 22 points in a regular-season game. (His playoff career high is 29 points.) He also was a starter for the 2004 All-Star Game.

Wallace again returned to the All-Star Game in 2005, his third in succession. This time, he was selected as a reserve, as the popular Shaquille O'Neal, now in the Eastern Conference, finished ahead of Wallace in the fan balloting. During the 2004-05 season, Wallace also became Detroit's franchise leader in blocked shots. He now has recorded 1,116 blocks for the Pistons. Wallace has also become the Pistons' all time blocked shots leader in the playoffs.

Wallace again won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004-05, joining Dikembe Mutombo as the only players to have won the award three times.

Accolades

As of 2005, Wallace has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award three times, a feat only equalled by Dikembe Mutombo.

He was the first undrafted player to start in the NBA All-Star game.

Wallace is also one of only five players in history (along with Julius Erving, Sam Lacey, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson) to have recorded 100 blocks and 100 steals in five consecutive seasons.

Controversy

On November 21, 2004, Wallace was suspended for six games by Commissioner David Stern for his role in a massive brawl at a home game on November 19, 2004 that involved the Pistons, the Indiana Pacers and Pistons supporters. Wallace's retaliation to a hard foul by the Pacers' Ron Artest had helped trigger the chaos which resulted in an early end to the game.

On December 3, 2004, Wallace's suspension ended when the Pistons faced the San Antonio Spurs.

Trivia

ESPN announcers have said that Ben Wallace is able to bench press 460 pounds (210 kg) and curl 200 pounds (90 kg) for several repetitions. The Detroit Free Press has also added that he has only 3.8 percent body fat.

As some big men like Shaquille O'Neal or Wilt Chamberlain, Wallace is an atrocious free throw shooter. As of May 2005, his lifetime average is .419.

More information about Wallace can be found on NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/playerfile/ben_wallace/index.html)fr:Ben Wallace

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