One Fit Too Many From Rasheed Wallace?

ESPN.com's Royce Webb writes:

With the game tied 71-71, Wallace gave up an offensive rebound to Hornets reserve forward Sean Marks, allowing New Orleans to score the basket that put them ahead to stay in a game they would win by just three points. After the Marks play, Wallace complained demonstratively to get a technical foul, and shortly thereafter angrily knocked a towel from a Hornets ball boy's hand into the crowd for a second technical foul and automatic ejection. He followed that by throwing a towel in the direction of his coach, Michael Curry, who had just seconds before removed him from the game.

All of this appeared to raise the possibility that Wallace would face what could have been the NBA's first-ever triple suspension -- the automatic suspension for his 16th technical foul of the season, a league suspension for knocking a towel into the crowd and a team suspension for his actions toward his coach. However, it was revealed on Thursday that the NBA had rescinded two of Wallace's previous technical fouls, giving him only 14 for the season.

But instead of suspending him, might the Pistons just release him now, with only 26 games remaining on his contract? In any case, Sheed's tenure in Detroit, which began in spectacular fashion in 2004 with an NBA title (remember his championship belt?), is reaching an ignominious end.

Dan Feldman of PistonPowered compares video of this meltdown to another Wallace tirade that may have cost the team a game. He's nervous that a free agent Wallace could land with a major rival.

But after last night, Feldman is firmly of the opinion that the Pistons should let Wallace walk when his contract ends this summer.

  • There are two schools of thought here. One is that all this somehow proves the Pistons were on borrowed time from the moment they got Wallace, who has a history of wearing out his welcome.

  • Another is that to win championships, which they have done with Wallace playing a major role, you have to find ways to get many different personalities to work together for a time.

There is also a third school of thought: Maybe Chauncey Billups was an even better leader than everyone realized.

In any case, with all these losses, bickering, and expiring contracts for Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace, it's starting to feel like the Pistons will look very different a year from now.