Gerald Wallace: “It’s like trying to learn a construction job while you’re at work.”
by Tracy Weissenberg
The only thing Gerald Wallace couldn’t be for the Bobcats was the future.
In an era of financial uncertainty, the organization had to plan for years ahead, even if it meant giving up the face of the franchise. In a way, they took care of their star by sending Wallace to Portland where he could win now.
The move also sheds light on loyalty, a word that surfaces at the times people want to use the concept to support their own cause. There are a lot of negative sentiments that arise when a star wants to leave a city in which he’s adored. What about when one doesn’t?
On the trade:
Gerald Wallace: “It was shocking, something totally wasn’t expecting, didn’t see coming. Can’t prepare for it, you don’t even know how to react to it. Like I said, it’s just something that you have to deal with, it’s part of the business and just got to move forward.”
On his adjustment to Portland:
GW: “It’s different because you know these guys have been together for pretty much their whole season so basically I’m coming in and trying to learn on the fly. It’s like trying to learn aconstruction job while you’re at work. You know, you’re not even getting any training or anything. You have to just come in; they throw you right into the mix of things and expect you to perform. So the guys are doing a great job of helping me adjust and helping me get accustomed to the way things are around here and hopefully we can get it together and make a good run for a playoff push.”
On being in a positive situation:
GW: “I think so; I think this is a great situation. It’s a great young team that’s up and coming, that’s a playoff bound team. They have a lot of young guys who still have room to grow and improve and they have a great coach here who’s pushing his guys to be the best that they can be.”
On how he felt returning to Charlotte:
GW: “It was a very heartwarming and emotional experience for me, something that I didn’t want to do but I was glad to see the support from the fans and also the city of Charlotte.”
On his legacy with the Bobcats:
GW: “I don’t know, just hopefully I can be remembered as a guy that came out and competed every night and worked hard and did what he was able to do to help his team win.”
On the difficulty to define concept of loyalty in the NBA:
GW: “I think, you know, they make a big deal about players who force teams to trade them and then teams that are looking to get rid of players because of their off the court actions but I don’t [think] they speak enough about guys who have been a great asset to an organization, who have done well and did everything that the organization asked for, and you know, and then all of a sudden the organization turns around and turns their back on them. So you know it’s part of the business though, you just have to deal with it and move forward.”
On the fans in Portland:
GW: “It’s been great, the fans there are great and they welcomed me with open arms and I appreciated that.”