Ben Wallace may have only played in four NBA All-Star games during his 16-year career, but the former Detroit Pistons center certainly made an impact on the game that goes beyond a meaningless exhibition game.
During his career, Wallace was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year on four occasions and was an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection five times.
Yet, Wallace is not yet in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
During a recent interview with James Edwards III of the Athletic, Wallace talked about not yet being in the Hall of Fame and how it is something out of his control.
From The Athletic:
I’ll ask you this: Why do you think you’re not in the Hall of Fame yet?
I don’t know, man. I really can’t answer that question. I guess it’s just one of those things. You do what you can do while you’re playing, on the court. It’s up to your peers and the powers that be.
When we talk about transcendent players, we talk about changing the game or leaving a great impact. You, certainly, were a transcendent player in your own right. Does it frustrate you that it appears that everyone — media, fans and voters — only focus on one end of the floor — offense? There are and will be great players in the Hall of Fame who were world-class offensive players but passable defenders. You were one of the best, if not the best, defensive players ever.
It doesn’t really frustrate me because the people who are making these decisions are basketball-minded people. You see guys going into the Hall of Fame for being one-way, one-sided players on the offensive end, versus guys that they call one-way players on the defensive end. Like I said, you leave that up to your peers and people who are basketball minded, and then just hope for the best.
It’s almost like the Grammys. Nas just won his first one after years of being nominated, and everyone knows he’s one of the best ever at what he does. In that same vein, are you able to find any solace in just being nominated multiple times?
My whole career has been a struggle. Everything about my career has been a struggle, and I’ve had to work for everything that I got. I suppose this isn’t anything different. It is what it is. I’ve been looked over all of my career and had to come out and prove myself. At this point right now, though, there’s nothing I can do to go out and prove myself. My career is over. The fact that I continue to be nominated, it says a lot. As long as you continue to get nominated, there’s always a strong chance that you can get in.
Nation, do you believe Ben Wallace should be in the Hall of Fame?