Jun 18, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT
In Game 7, we got the full Sheed.
There was Sheed the good, the long-arm defender that kept Pau Gasol at bay during the first three quarters of Game 7.
There was Sheed the bad, the guy Gasol was outworking for rebounds at the end, the one that missed key stretches of the game when he got cramps.
There was Sheed the peacemaker, the one trying to calm Ron Artest down after Ron-Ron and Paul Pierce were nose-to-nose.
There was Sheed the crazy, guy who tried to go into the referees’ dressing room after the game to “talk to them” and had to be escorted out by security (as reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com).
Rasheed Wallace was never simple or easy to categorize. It made him standout in the NBA.
And it is the reason he will be missed, if he retires. And that may be this summer, after Wallace fought through an assortment of injuries this season, according to Doc Rivers. If so, Sheed’s last game was a fitting send off, because it had a little bit of everything.
“He was a warrior,” Celtics coach Rivers said of Wallace after Game 7. “You know, I don’t know if Rasheed will ever play again. You know, he’s one of them that took that out on the floor with him. I think he is thinking about retiring, and I thought you could see that in his play. He was dying out there. When he got the cramps and strains, he was just trying to figure out a way out, a way of staying out on the floor.”
He was scoring when the Celtics were winning, but late he wore down, was getting cramps, and the Celtics could no longer go him inside. And as they had to shoot jumpers, the Lakers started to pull ahead.
Wallace tried to stand up and stop the tide, but he could not any more. His body was betraying him. It happens to the best.
Losing was not the way Rasheed Wallace wants to leave the game. But this game might be the most fitting final note for a career that was unlike any other in NBA history. But one that will not be easy to categorize.
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