New York Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace (36) told reporters he would like to coach high school ball when he retires from playing. / Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
LONDON - Rasheed Wallace was holding court with media in front of the assembled media Wednesday morning when he was asked about his future employment. Specifically, he was asked whether he would ever coach.
The New York Knicks forward scoffed at the idea of coaching the pros, signaling his preference for more grassroots approach in the colorful way Detroit area fans loved when he was a Piston in 2004-09.
He only has patience for high school kids.
"That's where you start it off at," Wallace said at O2 Arena. "There's a lot of bad habits a lot of guys have now in the NBA and in college, so there's only one way to get them started right and that's to go back to the roots. Too many prima donnas up here. Once they get paid that money, they don't want to work, so it's a whole different league."
Wallace returned the NBA with Knicks after a two-year retirement. He worked out at the Pistons' practice facility with strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander at times to prepare his body physically, and when the call came from Knicks coach Mike Woodson in the off-season, he answered.
While he has missed 15 straight games with a sore foot and won't play against the Pistons at 3 p.m. on Thursday, he has been pleasantly surprised with his defense and outside shooting.
"I know I can still play this game," Wallace said. "The NBA is 95% mental and 5% physical, so it's more in my favor now with me being older."
The Pistons have changed a lot since he was acquired before the 2004 trade deadline - a move that fueled the title later that season. Only four Pistons - Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum - remain from the 2008-09 team, his last with the Pistons.
But he likes the team's direction with building blocks Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
"The Pistons are trying to revamp and start it all over again and that's where they have to start at down low," Wallace said. "It all starts with post play. They have two pretty good young guys that are definitely bona fide centers here in the NBA so they're headed in the right direction."
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