Free-agent forward Rasheed Wallace officially joins New York Knicks
Rasheed Wallace came out of a two-year retirement after signing with the New York Knick on a handshake agreement only last month.
However, the Rasheed Wallace was nowhere to be seen at the New York Knicks media day and skipped the first day of practice which was heavily built around conditioning drill. New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson wasn’t pleased with Rasheed Wallace’s absence since the 15-year-old NBA veteran’s past two weeks progress during individual workouts with team trainers had reportedly proven that his conditioning still required a bit of tuning. Rasheed Wallace also took a physical with the New York Knicks last week.
The 28-year-old Rasheed Wallace retired following a disappointing tenure during the Boston Celtics’ 2009-2010 season. Rasheed Wallace struggled during the start of the season but gradually continued improving as the season went on, averaging 9.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 79 regular-season games. At the time of his retirement, Rasheed Wallace left $12 million in guaranteed money with the Boston Celtics.
Originally drafted out of North Carolina as the fourth overall pick during his sophomore-year by the Washington Wizards in 1995, Rasheed Wallace also had successful careers with Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, and was on the Detroit Pistons’ 2004 NBA championship team. Mike Woodson was an assistant coach with the Detroit pistons at that time and was responsible the team’s formidable defenses during their championship run.
The four-time NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace boasts a career average of 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds.
New York Knicks’ No.36, Rasheed Wallace, (whom the team initially offered a $1.7 million veteran’s contract) will play backup to starting forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
Rasheed Wallace adds even more length to the New York Knicks’ group of big men: Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Amar’e Stoudemire and Curt Thomas. Last season, with Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries both out with injuries, the New York Knicks were forced to play Carmelo Anthony on 4, which proved to be a disaster. Carmelo Anthony was relentlessly punished in the paint and the New York Knicks didn’t have many other options to send in.
However, it is undeniable that his addition makes the New York Knicks the oldest team in NBA history. Kurt Thomas is going on 40, while 39-year-old Jason Kidd, 35-year-old Argentinian “rookie” Pablo Prigioni, as well as 38-year-old Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace portray an aging New York Knicks bench.
A deep younger bench usually helps to rotate players and provide much needed rest to veteran after playing back-to-back games. So, despite the NBA contenders making of the new roster, the aging bench will be a big concern for most New York Knicks fans.