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News » Bobcats coach urged C's to sign Wallace

Bobcats coach urged C's to sign Wallace

Bobcats coach urged C's to sign Wallace Doc Rivers respects Larry Brown as much as any coach in the league.

So when Brown, who is now leading the Charlotte Bobcats, recommended that Rivers pursue Rasheed Wallace in free agency this summer, Rivers took the advice seriously.

The Celtics made Wallace their top offseason priority and signed him in July.

``( Celtics general manager Danny Ainge) has done an unbelievable job getting this kid because he can start on any team in the NBA, be a star if he wanted to on any team in the NBA,'' Brown said of Wallace, who scored nine points in last night's 92-59 victory over the Bobcats. ``He's the ultimate teammate.''

Wallace joined Brown's Detroit squad midway through 2003-04 season with a reputation as a disruptive teammate. But Brown had no problems with the versatile big man, as Wallace fit in seamlessly with a balanced Pistons roster. Wallace turned out to be the missing piece that propelled the Pistons to a championship in his first season. The team returned to the Finals the following season, but lost to the Spurs in seven games.

Those two years together were all the evidence Brown needed to dispel the notion that Wallace was a bad teammate.

``His teammates always give him credit and I've never met a coach that didn't think he was special,'' Brown said. ``I talked to Doc a lot about that.''

Brown took over the Knicks following the 2004-05 season and Wallace never enjoyed the same success in Detroit. A forgetful 2008 campaign paved the way for his free agency.

``Once the season was over and I knew that Detroit wasn't going to re-sign (Wallace), I just was hopeful that he would be able to come here or San Antonio and have a chance to win a championship because he deserves it,'' Brown said. ``They did a great job of getting him here and I don't think they'll be disappointed at all.''

Wallace has erased any doubts about his commitment to winning by coming to the Celtics and accepting a reserve role after starting throughout his 15-year career. Wallace made an impact immediately, scoring 12 points in the C's opening night 95-89 win in Cleveland. And his sacrifice has set an example for the rest of the Celtics bench.

``It says a lot about him,'' Shelden Williams said. ``He could go to any other team and start right away, but sacrificing for the better of the team. I think that's something that Rasheed bought into early. If it's required for him to come off the bench, he's willing to do that for us to get the job done.''


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Added: October 30, 2009


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