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March 19, 2009

What would it take to break Wallace?

I'm beginning to believe Gerald Wallace is made of Kevlar.

When he slipped late in the first half Wednesday and crumpled to the floor, clutching his left knee, I'm thinking start counting lottery chances. At best, he'd miss a week. At worst? How about an ACL tear and months of rehab.

Then he gets up on his own and walks to the bench. And trots out for halftime warmups and 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks of second-half impact.

The part I didn't know until later was the debate; The doctors -- people he knows and trusts -- wanted him in the hospital for an MRI. The way Wallace tells it, he simply said no. You don't want players doing that as a precedent -- they're investments as much as employees -- but how can you not admire such toughness with the playoff stakes the Bobcats face?

They really were going to lose, to the worst team in the NBA. The Kings were 0-27 this season against the Easatern Conference, but Rashad McCants kept hitting shots (30 points on 5-of-8 from 3-point range) and the Bobcats were self-destructing via turnovers (33 Kings points off 22 Bobcats giveaways).

After losing in Minnesota -- their last Mulligan for the season -- Wallace just wasn't putting up with this. So he ignored what his body was screaming and played on. After the game I asked him how much pain he felt. Not so much, he replied, which sounds good but was in fact bad.

Wallace elaborated that the soreness up and down his left leg was severe enough that he went numb. He knew he'd pay for that in a few hours and in the days that would follow.

"At 1 or 2 o'clock this morning,'' Wallace explained....then his voice tailed off in a wince of anticipatory pain.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 19, 2009 at 01:48 AM | Permalink

Comments

Man, what a warrior. He and Felton are this team's heart I swear. I just hope the MRI doesn't show anything bad. That would mean more time for Radmanovic if so though. At least the team is better suited to play without Gerald than in the past, but it would still be a huge blow. Thanks Gerald for being one of those rare NBA players that suck it up instead of crying at every chance to lay out.

Posted by: Matt | Mar 19, 2009 6:17:56 AM

maybe if he learnt how to dribble and how to drive the right way he wouldn't fall over his own feet and potentially cause himself an injury that could have been easily avioded.

Posted by: Who's fault is that? | Mar 19, 2009 8:50:27 AM

People who don't watch games probably shouldn't comment about them. Gerald didn't trip over his own feet. His foot slid on a slick spot driving to the basket. Guess you never "learnt" how to not look like a fool. Now who's fault is that? hmmm...

Posted by: eric | Mar 19, 2009 9:11:25 AM

I didn't know there were any really inspirational NBA players anymore. But, he is one.

Posted by: Musson | Mar 19, 2009 9:22:00 AM

a slick spot?? ROFL. he causes his own injuries by being reckless, beacause he can't dribble and can't drive. he'll end his own career early.

slick spot. LOL. amazing how for almost 2 entire quarters everyone else managed to aviod that slick spot.

Posted by: Who's fault is that? | Mar 19, 2009 9:27:57 AM

Excuse me? "maybe if he learnt how to dribble and how to drive the right way he wouldn't fall over his own feet and potentially cause himself an injury that could have been easily avioded."

I believe the word is LEARNED...Hmmm..now WHO needs the lesson?? LOL.

Crash is the epitome of tough!! CATS are in prime position, lets keep our fingers crossed for more Bulls & Bucks losses and we gotta keep handling business...this is exciting, FINALLY a playoff push for real!

I saw bum a$$ Tim Legler (who hired him?) on NBA Fastbreak giving the Bulls the edge for the 8th spot but he dont know jack, his career scoring avg is less than 3ppg so screw him!! We will get there, the Bulls are trying to put all their new pieces together and keep the team from turning on coach Del Negro.

LB--I criticized u in the past for being a quitter but thanks for turning our franchise around already!

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Mar 19, 2009 9:33:10 AM

Definetly a slick spot on the floor.

Posted by: FuriousStyles | Mar 19, 2009 9:39:13 AM

The Bulls should take an L against the Lakers on Saturday. The Cats will make up ground by taking care of the Raptors and the Pacers. I am pretty sure the Toronto game will be closer than the one played a few days ago, but the Cats should still win. I don't care if the wins the Cats get are "ugly". I will take a hideous win over a beautiful loss any day.

Posted by: Token | Mar 19, 2009 10:51:59 AM

Thank you, Eric and Furious Styles, you're exactly right. One of the ugliest things happening around this team is those "fans" who keep on posting hateful comments against the team's most important players. Some hate Wallace, some hate Emeka, some hate Felton - and they'd never shut up! I guess we'll have to live with these recurring outpourings of hate. (Still, a good thing is that we don't see much anymore those racist messages that kept coming in past years!).

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 19, 2009 11:04:53 AM

To my friends on the comment board:

I can't help but post after some of the responses above. I don't 'hate on' any of the Bobcats important players, I simply put them in the correct objective perspective. Does anyone realize that Felton and Wallace are poor shooters? Does anyone realize Okafor is simply above average? I read this blog regularly, and it never ceases to amaze me how you 'fans' can talk about these guys as if they're superstars.

I'm rooting for the Bobs to make the playoffs just like everyone else, but make no mistake, Felton and Wallace should have been shipped out of town to the highest bidder.

For those of you who are going to (try to) argue with me, here are the stats:

Felton is 12th in the league in assists per game - average

Felton's career shooting percentage is 39.8%, and 32.2% from three (29.7% this year, ugh) - those numbers are not even average

Wallace has taken 110 three-pointers this year...and shoots 30%. Again, that's below average, why is he still taking those? Does anyone realize what's going to happen in 3 more years when his athleticism decreases and he's forced to be a POOR jump shooter making $10MM/year?

Guys...this team is 30-38, they have never won more than 33 games in a season and they may barely beat that this year. Why is everyone here so quick to praise the players who've been here for 4-5 years (Felton, Wallace, Okafor) when they have not won? The best thing they could have done was send Felton and Wallace out of town for any draft picks or expiring contracts, and started over. As it stands, the same roster is coming back for several more seasons of mediocrity.

If you're not winning, you're losing.

Posted by: BobsRealist | Mar 19, 2009 11:53:34 AM

Then, Realist, I guess you've ignored the improvement and the win streaks the bcats have had.

No one on here things any of the players are all stars or the bcats are world champs. But, they are fun to watch and easily a middle of the road team in the east.

The only thing they are truly missing is that all star, but few teams actually have one of those...by definition they're kinda hard to come by

Posted by: A Fan | Mar 19, 2009 12:06:23 PM

Good points, A Fan. The team is improving.
A little realistic correction: Felton is 12th in the league, but 10th among point guards, for assists average (the other two players above him are Dwayne Wade (SG) and LeBron James (SF), both MVP candidates). Tenth out 30 starting point guards, that's above average.
BobsRealist, it's always nice to put things in a "correct objective perspective". That's very different from heaping up negative comments only. What about Wallace's and Felton's driving ability? And rebounding, does that matter?
Gerald is second in NBA among small forwards for rebounds, above LeBron! Raymond is the seventh rebounder among point-guards.
Look, BR, there's always room for reasonable criticism of any player; that's different from focusing on negatives only.
Also, my post above was a reaction to those "whose [spell-check, mr. Anonymous!] fault is that?" posts, which clearly fell in the hateful area.

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 19, 2009 1:24:55 PM

I'll have to say I agree w/ Sandy and A Fan. None of us trying to ignore the team's flaws just because we are excited about the Bobs first ever shot at making the playoffs. Objective opinions and realistic view points are what I see many of us strive for.

I would argue that it's unrealistic to expect the Bobs to be any better than the are now. There have been some mistakes for this franchise just like any other, but we're stupid if we start disparaging them just because we don't have any can't miss all stars. As Sandy pointed out, Lebron and D.Wade are rare and teams are extremely lucky to have them.

I personally would have been ok with seeing either Felton or Wallace traded if it brought back the same kind of balance, depth, and overall improvement that getting rid of Richardson did. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Felton is as big a talent as J.Rich when it comes to trade value, but I'm ok with trading most any player if it improves the team. I would have hated, however, if the team had dumped Felton and Wallace just to dump salary, thereby ruining any shot at a playoff run. The team is struggling for fans as it is. Taking you're "realistic" advice would made most fans lose interests. We'd be looking at four more years of building young talent, which is often a crap shoot.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 19, 2009 3:12:21 PM

I don't know what it would take to break Wallace, but I bet its not a toe injury!

Posted by: J | Mar 19, 2009 5:03:53 PM

i don't know how some of you can sit there and judge the way you do.take kb off the lakers,take lb off the cavs,take dw off the heat,and cp off the hornets and put them with gw or put gw on a team with either of them. remember this: mj w/o sp or any star without a sidekick. some players are superstars but all superstars need a superstar of their own to be a allstar. michael needed scottie and so forth.

Posted by: MOE OF TALLADEGEA | Mar 20, 2009 8:19:48 AM

I don't disagree with the comments about rebounding or driving ability, Felton and Wallace are nice players. And again, I'm a fan too, I want them to make the playoffs. But more importantly, I want this team to compete for a championship, that should be the (one and only) goal.

It's easy to say we should have traded Wallace and Felton for valuable players, but obviously that wasn't available. My point is, they're an average team right now guys, in fact their record indicates they're much less than average. And the current average roster is signed for the next 3 years, with no wiggle room under the salary cap. Can anyone honestly tell me they're comfortable (assuming your goal is to compete for a championship) taking this roster for the next 3 years?

We should have jumped at the chance to take draft picks or expiring salaries for Felton or Wallace. The bottom line is, we built a team from scratch, and it didn't work (unless, again, someone thinks the overall goal should be to finish with 35 wins). It's time to accept that and rebuild.

Sure, as it stands now we might make the playoffs in the East, maybe a few years in a row. But we're leaps and bounds below a contender, even for a top playoff spot, and why would you have any other goal than that?

Posted by: BobsRealist | Mar 20, 2009 1:56:25 PM

Well I think you can go ahead and drop the word "realist" from your name my friend.
I think that we should have REALISTIC goals for the team. Right now a championship is not realistic. I'd rather spend the next 3 seasons watching the Bobs make the playoffs than crossing my fingers hoping that a rebuilding project will someday bring a championship. What you're suggesting pretty much results in a constant "re-building" period and leads a team to perpetual failure.

You are certainly entitled to want what you want, but I would bet that most fans would have hated to see the team shoot itself in the foot by trading away to vital starters for draft picks, basically throwing the season. Why, so we can bring in S. Curry?

What you're ignoring by looking at the season record is that Charlotte actually has a really solid record with their current starting 5. We have to be realistic though, walk before we run and all that good stuff. Let's make the playoffs, then think about what makes a championship team.

Posted by: Bobby | Mar 21, 2009 2:37:58 PM

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