2017 Hall of Fame class: Ben Wallace

In 2004-05, Ben Wallace was an undersized force in the paint that opposing guards feared.

He was a staple of the greatest Detroit Pistons team since the Bad Boys. He was accompanied by Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and of course, Chauncey Billups.

He is currently on the nominee list for the Hall of Fame class of 2017 and this is the first time he will be eligible.

Ben Wallace story is extremely empowering because he didn’t have much of a ceiling as a NBA prospect and now he is an all-time great center. He is the definition of hard work and loyalty.

A JUCO transfer to a DII school to being undrafted. Would believe that this would produce a potential Hall of Famer? Well that was Ben Wallace’s story. He turned himself into a defensive menace that won Defensive Player of the Year four times and a eventually won a title with the Pistons in 2004. He did all of the dirty work as a player and that has turned him into a fan favorite.

 

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He is the perfect example of a professional and he has earned the superstar status while his play was on full display in Detroit, where his career took off. He is by far the most well-remembered player to never have averaged double digit points for his career.

There are so many players in the league that respect Wallace for being the one to care so much about blocking shots, grabbing rebounds, and setting picks. He didn’t get to the level he was at for being glamourous. So, there’s the question. Is Big Ben a true first ballot Hall of Famer?

Wallace’s ex-teammate Jerry Stackhouse says that is more than enough to make Wallace a star. “I’ve played with a lot of great players: Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Grant Hill,” says Stackhouse. “Ben Wallace’s name belongs in that list too, but for some reason people don’t think of him as the kind of player whose name belongs on the marquee. I don’t understand why. He belongs way up at the top.”

Even though he is so respected amongst fans and the league, but who remembers Wallace’s pot-Pistons career? I think that Wallace has some time until he gets into the Hall of Fame. He is a fan favorite and he is an absolute legend, but regarding him as a first-ballot Hall of Famer might be a little hard.

Give it time Ben Wallace fans. He’ll be in there soon, but 2017 is a little early.

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. There’s so much to be said for someone who loves the dirty work. Ben Wallace never backed down in the lane and was always one of the first to crash the glass. He’s one of those players I really want to be first ballot, like you said “a fan favorite”, but I don’t see it happening. Well done. Enjoyed the read.

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