There is very little I can say about Gerald Wallace that has not already been said. He plays by passion, which helps him overcome any noticeable offensive talent. At 6'7" he is undersized for a power forward and a little too slow for the small forward position, but some how he manages every night to defend both. When I watched him in a Bobcats uniform he liked to set himself up on the wing, but was never an easy guy to set plays for (his three-point shooting is abysmal), but he was always one to make shit happen. He hardly played in Sacramento to begin his season then was later asked to be the franchise player for Charlotte, neither which role he was naturally fit for. Earlier this year, after almost ten years in the NBA, Crash was traded to Portland; a city and a team that fits everything that is Gerald Wallace. Trailblazers fans cares about their team, and show up every game to prove it (the antithesis of what Crash saw in Charlotte). What’s best is Wallace is now in a position to play a significant role without being a franchise player (which he has never been). This year I’ll be in the Blazers’ corner for the playoffs because Gerald Wallace single-handedly put the Bobcats on his back for so many years.
So why will I miss watching Wallace play in my home state of North Carolina every night? Well, to start he is the definition of intangible. He is the guy you want when a play breaks down, shit's going haywire, and you need someone to both settle your team down and galvanize. To put it another way, during his time with Charlotte Gerald Wallace was John McClane from "Die Hard." Neither McClane nor Crash were in great situations to begin with. McClane was married to an absent wife, having taken a lucrative job on the West Coast. Wallace was under contract to play in Charlotte, a city with an absent, passive fan base.
Neither guy had much help from authority. The FBI cut power to Nakatomi Plaza, blindly sent in a Swat team, and brought in an inept negotiator to come to terms with Hanz and his merry band of terrorists/thieves. Michael Jordan hired head coach Sam Vincent; traded away Jason Richardson, Tyson Chandler, and Raymond Felton; and brought in an inept front court in Crash’s final year that featured Kwame Brown and Nazr Mohammad. More inexplicably he saw drafting Sean May as a GOOD thing. When you take in their amiably overweight pals (Boris Diaw as the dude from Family Matters) and their strange injuries-- McClane trudging through Nakatomi after walking barefoot over glass, Wallace trudging back to Charlotte from LA with a collapsed lung (Andrew Bynum as the crazy East Germans with fucking machine guns)-- their similarities are uncanny.
Suffering, however, is the path to success. McClane foiled the plans of Hanz Gruber and Gerald Wallace was traded to Portland where he plays in front of a passionate fan base who gave him a standing ovation his first day in Portland; hell, they’ll occasionally start chanting his name in the middle of games for fun. Since he's on a Trailblazers team with legit offensive weapons he’s finally plays the role of a destructive fucking utility man, the role he was always right for.
What is yet to be seen is the sequel. Wallace has been in the league for almost ten years now, and with his style of play hasn't many more years of at his prime. If he's traded from Portland, or signs for another team its all too likely we could see him star in a sequel-- remember, Die Hard II was based in Washington, DC.
It’s true I will miss watching Crash represent NC, but am willing to part with my feelings knowing he’s in a city that understands and appreciates his certain skill set.
Also, if you're wondering, McClane’s limo driver is DJ Augustin. The dude really wants to help. But even when he does, he can't get out the damn car and fight.