Ben Wallace suffered through depression following his retirement from the NBA in 2012.
Wallace, 44, says he was depressed for a couple of years after walking away from the game.
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) October 13, 2018
The four-time Defensive Player of the Year eventually regained his footing—becoming heavily involed in remote control car racing—and is now a part-owner and chairman of the Grand Rapids Drive NBA G League team.
Per The Undefeated:
“Basketball is sort of mind-controlling,” said Wallace. “It takes you on a journey of extreme highs and extreme lows. It almost makes you need it. One day I can go out and get 20 rebounds and tomorrow I can come out and get seven or eight. Now, you’re sort of waiting for the next time to prove yourself. When you retire, you start feeling left out, no one’s really checking on you, you ain’t getting no phone calls that you used to get. Then you start to get low, but there’s no game tomorrow to lift you up, so you just keep sinking and sinking.”
Wallace knew he had to do something better, so he picked up his phone and dialed all the people who told him to call if he ever needed anything or wanted to get back in the game. The first person he called was Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.
“That was a major call for me because he’s one of those guys I played for and he knew me,” said Wallace. “He picked up the phone and he knew exactly what I needed at the time. He gave me a list of the people I need to call and get in contact with. Two years ago, I called Mike Woodson, Doc Rivers, and they all were helpful and pointed me in the right direction.”