The Detroit Pistons have sent “Big Ben” flying, retiring the #3 jersey of the team’s former center, Ben Wallace.
Wallace attended the event, accompanied by his family. Former teammates of Wallace – Chauncey Billups, Richard “Rip” Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshawn Prince and Mehmet Okur were also present at the event.
Wallace took the microphone and thanked the fans for sharing this special moment with him.
“For me it is a great moment,” Wallace said. “Looking back from where I came from, and some of the trials and tribulations I had to go through to get here – I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Wallace also thanked for the opportunity to play in Detroit, which has “the best fans in the world”. Wallace helped the Pistons to win the 2004 NBA Championship, adding one more chapionship to the two titles won by the “Bad Boys” in 1989 and 1990.
“You all motivated me on nights, when I didn’t have anything left in the tank,” Wallace said to the fans, adding that they all made it easier for him to go out and play his best.
Wallace also thanked the Pistons organization for the opportunity they gave him to play, when he was still looking for his way. He didn’t forget his teammates, thanking the Pistons for putting together a group that went after the 2004 NBA championship.
Former NBA player said that Detroit gave him a lot, including a place to become a man, raise his kids, a place he can call home.
Ben Wallace’s jersey was raised to the rafters, joining the other retired Pistons: Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Vinnie Johnson, Bob Lanier, Dave Bing, Bill Laimbeer and Dennis Rodman.
Wallace played 16 seasons in the NBA with the Washington Bullets, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He appeared in total of 1088 games (912 started), averaging 5.7 ppg, 2.0 bpg and 9.6 rpg.
Wallace was a 4-time NBA All-Star, won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2003-04. Known for his rebounding and shot-blocking, Wallace led the NBA in offensive rebounds twice, in defensive rebounds once during his career. He twice led the NBA in rebounds per game and once in blocks per game.
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