'Sheed Was [Expletive] Mad, But Kept His [Expletive] Cool Afterward
You may have missed out on the Return of Gilbert yesterday at Verizon Center, but at least there was the Tantrum of Rasheed.
In case you missed it: Early in the fourth quarter of the Washington Wizards' 95-83 win last night, Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace started roughhousing Andray Blatche. He tossed Blatche aside, and then Blatche threw an elbow to Wallace's back, picking up a personal foul. Wallace responded with a sharp right elbow to Blatche, then shoved Blatche to the ground again for good measure.
Referee Mark Ayotte accessed Wallace with a technical foul - and although a loudmouth Pistons fan in front of me made a lame joke that Rasheed never gets called for those, it was his 11th of the season. Wallace is tied with Baron Davis for second in the league in techs (Kobe Bryant is the league leader with 13) and is five short of the 16 needed for an automatic one-game suspension.
After leading the league with 21 technical fouls last season, Wallace is on pace to have his fewest technicals in the past five years (11, in 2002-03) and nowhere close to reaching his NBA record of 40, set in 2000-01.
But after Ayotte whistled, him, Wallace groaned, tossed his hands in the air, leaned back and stormed down the court, waving his hands and shaking his head. Then, Wallace pleaded his case to Ayotte no avail, and walked away shouting, "That's [a bad word]!"
Wallace was bit frustrated all night, as he missed his first four shots, picked up three quick fouls in the first half - including a foul while setting a pick - and was out of rhythm the rest of the game. He finished with just 11 points (on 3-of-12 shooting).
After the game, Wallace brilliantly used foul language to blast the officials without ever raising his voice or looking upset. It was almost like listening to CBS Sunday Morning's Charles Osgood calmly reading 50 Cent lyrics. Not quite. But almost.
Wallace was asked how the early fouls the officials called on him had any effected on his play. Wallace shook his head and said, "I'm used to that [bad word], them calling that [bad word]. I'm used to it now."
Asked to explain the reason for the technical: "[Ayotte] gave me a tech saying I shucked him. I know that was some [bad word]. Same thing with [Referee] Marc [Davis]. How in the hell I set a pick - a legal pick on the side of guy - and it's a [very bad word] foul? It's not like I ran into it or ran him over, I walked into a pick. Y'all tell me how horrible these [very, very bad word] are."
Shortly after the technical, Brendan Haywood added to Wallace's frustrations when he clobbered his fellow North Carolina alum with a hard foul. Wallace thought there was a double standard. "No, that wasn't no technical. [Haywood] didn't go for the ball. He just straight wrapped me up, and [bad word]. He fouled me two or three times before they even called it."
When a reporter told Wallace that he was surprised that Wallace didn't react to the foul, Wallace shrugged. "I didn't say nothing," Wallace said.
Nah, Rasheed, you said enough.
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