Gerald Wallace says that when he finally removed his Charlotte Bobcat uniform, he thought it would be to retire.
But on Feb. 24, the Bobcats gave him to Portland. They didn't really give him to Portland. They donated him. Like most of us, Wallace is not a proponent of the trade.
He says he felt as if he was "stabbed in the back."
"It's taken a lot of joy away," Wallace says Thursday. "My heart and soul was here and its always been here."
He says he felt as if he was "not wanted anymore."
It was "like a slap in the face," he adds.
Wallace talks Thursday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena. Portland has just finished practice. Portland plays Charlotte in the arena Friday.
Wallace says that head coach Paul Silas told him at practice Feb. 24, the last day NBA teams could trade, that he was "OK, that I didnt have anything to worry about."
Silas didn't lie. Silas didn't know about the trade.
Says Wallace: "I got home and man."
That's when the call came. That's when he knew.
General manager Rod Higgins told the media the next day that the trade came together at the last minute.
Asked about this, Wallace says, "I dont even want to comment on that guy."
Wallace says he likes Portland's attitude, which is "Win, win, win."
I ask him if Charlotte shares that attitude.
"Yeah, when I was here," Wallace says.