A media report says that Ben Wallace will be named to the 2021 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Wallace was the center for the 2004 Detroit Pistons’ NBA championship team, and is widely recognized as one of the top defensive players in league history.
According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, the Basketball Hall of Fame will announce Sunday that Ben Wallace will be among those named to their 2021 class.
Ben Wallace was only 6-9, 240-pounds but his relentless attitude helped make up for his lack of size, and endeared him to Pistons fans.
He was never much of a scorer. Wallace never averaged in double digits in a season during his 15-year NBA career. What he did was rebound, block shots and play defense.
In the 2003-4 season, Wallace averaged 9.5 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks a game. His defense of Shaquille O’Neal helped the Pistons top the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers, 4-1, in the NBA finals, to win Detroit the championship.
Wallace was not of those much-hyped high school stars that seemed destined for greatness.
He went to high school at Haynesville Central in Alabama and then ended up in Cuyahoga County Community College in Ohio, before finishing his collegiate career at Virginia Union, an NCAA Division II program.
Undrafted, he signed as a free agent with Washington in 1996 and later was traded to Orlando. The Magic sent him to Detroit in August, 2000 as part of the Grant Hill trade.
Wallace was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, five times made All-NBA and four times an All-Star. Twice he led the league in rebounds and once in blocked shots.
Wallace spent nine of his 15 seasons with the Pistons. His No. 3 uniform number is retired.
Wallace is currently a part-owner of the Grand Rapids Drive, which until this season was the G-League affiliate of the Pistons.