Rasheed Wallace during Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2010, his last game with Boston.BOSTON -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers acknowledged a report that Rasheed Wallace was contemplating coming out of retirement and suggested the conditioning of the 37-year-old big man will dictate whether he's able to be successful in that venture.
"He can play," said Rivers. "Listen, with everyone, it’s conditioning. If he’s in great condition, because I don’t know anyone’s age, then I’m sure he can play. If he’s not, then I’m sure it will be tough for him to play. I don’t think it’s that difficult."
Wallace, of course, wasn't exactly in great shape during the one year he spent with Boston, but did have his shining moments, including a solid effort in what is currently his final NBA contest -- a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals.
The Celtics facilitated a buyout of the final two years of Wallace's contract that following summer (he had signed a three-year deal at the full value of the mid-level exception in 2009). Boston is still reportedly paying Wallace, $491,000 is on the books this season according to salary site ShamSports.com, but Rivers wondered if Wallace walked away with some basketball left in him.
"I was surprised that he retired, honestly," said Rivers. "Things didn’t end great, [but] he did play well in the first half of that Game 7, then the cramps and all that stuff kinda took its toll on him. But I just thought he still had basketball left in his body. He had to obviously get in better shape. I told him that. I was surprised; I think you sometimes talk yourself into [retirement], then when you get home, you think, ‘What have I done?’ I think that’s what he’s going through. I think he thinks, ‘Man, I probably left a year or two out there.’"
Rivers didn't hint at whether the Celtics would be interested in bringing Wallace back to their bench, but Boston's roster is currently at the 15-man limit and only rookie center Greg Stiemsma is on a non-guaranteed deal.