According to multiple published reports, we have seen the last of Rasheed Wallace on an NBA hardwood.
NBA.com‘s David Aldridge broke the not-too-shocking news last night:
The Boston Celtics’ expected rebuilding began Thursday when veteran forward Rasheed Wallace officially decided to retire after 15 NBA seasons, a league source said. Wallace’s retirement had been expected after the Celtics’ seven-game loss to the Lakers in the Finals, but Boston had held out some hope that the 35-year-old would change his mind with a few days’ contemplation.
Wallace signed a three-year, $18.9 million contract with Boston last summer, turning down offers from Orlando and San Antonio after the Celtics made a team-wide push to recruit him, sending Coach Doc Rivers, GM Danny Ainge and forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Wallace’s home to ask him to play in Boston. He left more than $12 million on the table by opting to retire.
Game 7 of the NBA Finals appears to have been Rasheed Wallace’s last appearance in the L. He played heroically in place of the injured Kendrick Perkins, and after the Boston Celtics lost to the Lakers (and he fouled out late), Wallace did a very ‘Sheedian thing: went after the refs.
He leaves the game with one championship, three trips to the Finals, and career averages of 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per night. He also leaves as one of the most talented and controversial figures in NBA history.
If this is truly the end, then happy trails to you, Rasheed. You will be missed.