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Saturday, September 25th, 2010 at 1:00 pm  |  40 responses

Top 50: Gerald Wallace, no. 32

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Tracy Weissenberg / @basketballista

The first time I heard the expression ‘50/50 play’ was from Gerald Wallace. I never really heard it used before and now it seems like I read it in every other sentence. It has become one of my favorite basketball expressions because it describes an impact invaluable to the game and invisible on a stat sheet.

In Wallace’s case, he shouldn’t give the opponent even odds on a play that involves effort, because close to 100 percent of the time, hGerald Wallacee will come away on top. Nicknamed “Crash” for obvious reasons, Wallace isn’t afraid of upgrading basketball from a contact to collision sport.

Wallace ranked second in the NBA last season in minutes per game at 41.0, and the 6-7 forward led the Bobcats in rebounds with 10 per game. He averaged 18.2 points on 12.4 field goal attempts, shooting over 48 percent from the field and 37 percent from three. His 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks round out the stat line and make him one of the most versatile forwards in the game.

Throughout his career, Wallace has never had trouble filling up a stat sheet, but his ability to mold his talents to fit the team’s needs shows an adaptability not many star players possess. Wallace easily adjusted to the early season addition of Stephen Jackson, and the duo’s production propelled the Bobcats to new levels of success.

Wallace said in an interview last season, “You’re only as recognizable or as popular as your team is doing.” As the Bobcats became relevant, more people began to recognize the intricacies of what he brings to the court. And that recognition garnered a selection to the 2010 All-Star team, making Wallace the first Bobcat ever named an All-Star. The Bobcats finished as the No. 7 seed in the East and reached the postseason for the first time in franchise history.

Wallace was named a member of the First Team All-Defensive team, which was a well-deserved honor due to Charlotte’s position as a top defensive team all season. The Bobcats allowed a league-low 93.8 points per game—a necessity in order to win, since they ranked 28th in points with 95.3 per game.

Wallace has his work cut out for him this season since the team traded (a now healthy) Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks and free agent Raymond Felton signed with the Knicks. Wallace may have to play a little less unselfishly and take more shots, since he and Jackson will have to carry most of the scoring load. He will still be counted on to play above his size, as his rebounds, blocks and steals are crucial to the defense-first system.

As the Bobcats look to build on the many franchise-firsts reached in ’09-10, Gerald Wallace will still be front and center—his game quiet in that it doesn’t beg for attention—but loud in the way he lives up to his nickname. Crash is hard to describe. You just have to watch him.

SLAMonline TOP 50 PLAYERS OVERALL RANK POSITION RANK
Player Team Position 2010 2009 2010 2009
Ray Allen Celtics SG 50 36 11 10
Gilbert Arenas Wizards SG 49 34 10 9
Lamar Odom Lakers PF 48 33 14 10
John Wall Wizards PG 47 NR 13 NR
OJ Mayo Grizzlies SG 46 46 9 12
Al Horford Hawks C 45 NR 6 NR
Jason Kidd Mavs PG 44 45 12 10
Joakim Noah Bulls C 43 NR 5 NR
LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 42 39 13 12
David West Hornets PF 41 31 12 8
Monta Ellis Warriors SG 40 NR 8 NR
Andrew Bogut Bucks C 39 NR 4 NR
Yao Ming Rockets C 38 NR 3 NR
Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 37 NR 11 NR
Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 36 NR 11 NR
Stephen Curry Warriors PG 35 NR 10 NR
David Lee Warriors PF 34 NR 10 NR
Brook Lopez Nets C 33 NR 2 NR
Gerald Wallace Bobcats SF 32 NR 6 NR

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’10-11 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jeremy Bauman, Maurice Bobb, Erildas Budraitis, Sean Ceglinsky, Ben Collins, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Manny Maduakolam, Eddie Maisonet, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Charles Peach, Branden Peters, Quinn Peterson, David Schnur, Todd Spehr, Kyle Stack, Adam Sweeney, Dennis Tarwood, Tracy Weissenberg, Lang Whitaker, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • hoodsnake

    Good but I hope whoo Jackson is also on the list?

  • Jdizzle

    wow first SF on the list

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I love the way Crash plays.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    -Denzel Frank Lucas voice- “My man!” -Denzel Frank Lucas voice-

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Good write up too.
    Im just glad Wallace finally made this list.

  • ohsnapkid

    well deserved… the last 9 picks weren’t even ranked last year, lol (although curry and jennings were rookies).

  • JTaylor21

    That’s true if GWall makes it, Action Jack better too. Wallace is a very good all-around player but he’s not a great go-to guy. He’s a very poor SPip, which is good because he could do everything Pip could expect to a lesser extent.

  • andynorstrom

    Good article, unlike some of these other rankings it just gets straight to the point. Wallace seems to be what Lamar Odom could be if he wasn’t on a contender.

  • Mr. Hoop

    To s taylor21 ” do everything pip could do” u must be a young cat n never seen pip play because Scottie shot the 3 way better n he could pass plus he was one of the 1st point forwards. Sorry but Wallace has below average league handle, don’t ever disrespect Scottie again he’s top 50 ALL TIME. Btw I love wallace’s game n every team needs a player like him.

  • Clement

    “isn’t afraid of upgrading basketball from a contact to collision sport” is right. Crash has a long record of destroying other players’ knees. As a Wiz fan, he is at least directly or indirectly responsible for the injuries sustained by three members of the wiz: Arenas, Josh Howard, and Yi Jianlian. The dude hustles but he does it at the risk if injuring other players on the court and that’s not cool.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I would rather have Brook Lopez than Gerald Wallace… Just saying.
    G-Force is a great player though. It was hilarious that he didn’t even want to be in the dunk contest last year and just flat out didn’t give a sh!t when it was his turn. One of the worst dunk contests ever.

  • JTaylor21

    I said to a LESSER extent he could do everything PIP did, DAMN read before you start yapping your gums.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Everyone says that the L is so thin at center, but the small forward position really is pretty barren as well (minus one Mr. James). But this is a good spot for Crash, and I’m still upset the Kings gave him up in the expansion draft.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    That’s nine players (in a row!) who didn’t make the Top 50 last season.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Ha, ohsnapkid stole my thunder for a long minute.

  • PlanetAsia14

    One of my favorite players… Still very underrated, deserves more recognition. One of the few guys (Ron Ron, Kobe, KD, Battier,) that can actually guard LeBron one on one.

  • PlanetAsia14

    ^ And Josh Smith as well.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    My question now is, will Stephen Jackson make the list??????

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Wait, since when can Kobe guard LeBron one on one? When HAS Kobe guarded LeBron one on one? Just asking.

  • JTaylor21

    For real when has Kobe and KD ever guarded Bron one on one? Riddle me that. Artest and Thabo are the ones that ALWAYS guard elite opposing wings not KB and KD.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    My man BET. What happened to bachi, i saw your post and commented. Will there be others?

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    ^probably not man.I was just bored at the time.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    @Betcats: he better not be cause GForce is a better playa then Captain Jack, so it would make no sense

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    ask 29 teams, who they want, Wallace or Jack and theres not one who says Jack

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Did I really read KD can guard Lebron one on one? B*lls**t.

  • Blackphantom

    @Jtaylor you’ve seriously never seen Kobe guard Lebron one-on-one? In any video or anything??

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    It only takes a quick search at youtube to find times when kobe has defended Lebron,Flash and others…I’m not saying that Kobe has ever locked any of those guys up or anything but, to say Kobe has never guarded Lebron is not correct.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Royal: The point we’re trying to make is that NEVER will you see Kobe actually *matched up* against LeBron on the defensive end. The Lakers would be stupid to do it because A) He obviously can’t guard LeBron and B) Their best defender is Ron Artest. Just because Kobe and Durant are elite players doesn’t mean Ron Artest and Thabo Sefolosha AREN’T the best defenders on their respective teams.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    And nobody was talking about Dwyane Wade… Kobe obviously guards Wade because they play the same position.
    And my previous comment leads me to say again that the NBA All-Defensive team rankings are a joke.

  • http://thephotoriot.com davidR

    trail,
    you’re severely underrating stephen jackson if you think that. stephen jackson is verrrry talented on both sides of the ball. plus, just having him on your squad will most likely boost your entire team’s morale. he brings an attitude that carries over to his teammates, and many players have testified how good of a teammate he is. tim duncan is probably the most notable to get his back.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign davidR. SJax is better than Wallace. Sorry. But Wallace is very very good.

  • hoodsnake

    Trail u smoking that Spanish Trampoline?SJax is better than Crash dude

  • JTaylor21

    Co-sign those three above me; Action Jack’s better than GWall. He’s been a very good player for a while it’s just that people don’t like to give him the respect he deserves because they think he’s a bad person which is far from the truth.

  • The Lord of Nsam (formerly known as Fresh Prince)

    I’ve never seen GWallace play (except on the “dunk contest” and 2010 AllStar), but I saw Jax helping the Spurs win a championship so Cap N Jack better b on this list.

  • AI TO MIAMI!!!

    yea crash didnt look like he wanted to participate in that dunk contest. but when he got interviewed he was really keen haha. athletically id choose crash over jackson. but jacks a betta overrall player

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