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Rasheed Wallace says college players more “hungry”

Oct 10, 2012, 11:56 AM EDT

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky Getty Images

In the eternal and unanswerable discussion of which is better — the NBA or college basketball — there are some silly arguments. If you are arguing college players play a more “real” game and work harder off the ball, you don’t watch a lot of basketball at either level. Plus, like in football, the jump of technical skill from college to the professional ranks is pretty steep.

However, newest Knick Rasheed Wallace said the last couple years he was out of the Association he ended up being drawn more to the college game than the NBA. The reason was passion, he told the New York Post (hat tip to SLAM).

“I was more interested in college. To me it seemed in college ball, guys are more hungry. It’s for a different circumstance when you’re talking about playing for money and playing for heart. “Not saying that guys in the NBA don’t play for heart, but once you get that money, you’re under a different mindset. But when you’re trying to get there and get on this level, you’re more hungry.’’

The question for Wallace and the Knicks now is Wallace’s hunger for conditioning. Coach Mike Woodson said Wallace was working his way back into shape still. Wallace said he was good to go whenever coach calls his number. You watch the video below and decide where Wallace’s conditioning is at (I side with Woodson).

  1. suhnum1fan - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Sheed does look slimmer than when he was in Detroit and Boston. Good luck! Detroit still got love for you.

  2. misterdreamer119 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Only superstars true superstars are hungry in nba. Allstars regular guys got paid and just want to floss their money.

  3. tsi431 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Its simple, are you going to play harder when you are playing for fun, like in college? Or are you going to play harder when your family and lifestyle are depending on it?

    Its not tough.

    • sellahh - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Man, if my family depended on it, I’d take charge from fullcourt LeBron train. But you know, college players play to get in the NBA and get THE paycheck, players in the NBA play… to play, until they start playing to get their next paycheck. But you’re right, I guess.

  4. rajbais - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    College players are only hungrier because their scholarships are year to year.

    You can have a maximum of 6 years in college with red shirting and red shirting due to injury. Why do I bring this up? A scholarship is actually one year long and (for example) if you attend for four years you have four 1-year scholarships.


    PBS and ‘The Atlantic’ revealed all this!!!

    Also, I have to talked to a few agents about this and they confirm this is true and the hunger is all driven by the players’ circumstances.

    Academics are not that big of a goal. They confirmed that too and a player’s academics have NOTHING to do with an agency’s career. It’s his skill.

    With 1-year deals yearly, these players feel a sense of urgency, get physically tired, and as people who were likely academically illegitimate for the schools class and types of majors are the last concern.

    It’s all about winning for college coaches and with those circumstances that’s why they also can have control.

  5. rajbais - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Multiple one years contracts give players a greater sense of urgency than 5 years deals.

    Who’s fault for the long term deals?

    Owners and GM’s! Want players to play better, no capitulating to long terms contracts!!! MAXIMUM IS NOT MANDATORY!!!

    • passerby23 - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      There are still max players who work very, very hard: KG, Kobe, Jordan, Lebron. I think you want to make sure you are also investing in the kind of character player you want. But, at the end of the day, if you don’t pay max money, someone else will.

      I do, however, like the idea of there being caps on the lengths of deals. I’ve always liked the idea of having one max player on a team, followed by 5-year max deals with the option of waiving them after 3 years just like in the NFL. Perhaps part of that money remaining on the two years would be guaranteed. It’s enough financial stability for players and not a crippling investment for owners.

      As for Rasheed, I hope his work ethic picks up. I didn’t see much impressive from that workout.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2012 at 2:15 AM

      Yeah but if you don’t give them out, SOMEONE will, and you can lose all your good players like that. Nobodys flocking to, or sticking with a stingy owner.

      • rajbais - Oct 13, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        People will flock to stingy owners. It’s called playing for the veteran’s and league minimum. At the same time, the majority of the long term contracts feature bad return on the owners’ investments.

        If the track records give obvious red flags to GM’s and owners let those guys and make it other teams’ problems. For example, the Suns let Vince Carter walk and he’s Dallas’ problem. I don’t care about personality, I care about his bad habit of jacking 3-point attempts when he’s not accurate enough from 3-point range. That’s a track record with red flags.

  6. houstonoilers - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    He really likes college more because they don’t call as many technicals.

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    guys who smoke a lot tend to get hungry that much more lmao

  8. Michael DeCicco - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    How do I get that job as the guy hitting Sheed with the pad???

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