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June 15, 2005

Rasheed Wallace


Q. Rasheed, besides your names, what would you say that you have in common with Ben Wallace and what is your relationship with him in this Detroit Pistons team?

RASHEED WALLACE: I was definitely excited when I first got here to be teamed up with him. It's fun but yet it's hard to be his teammate for the simple fact that he was Defensive Player of the Year three out of last four years, so, you know, everyone knows that he has his side of the block covered, so I've got to try to do what I can do to cover my side of the block. But as a person and teammate, Ben, he's a good person. You know, he has definite family morals, respect, values and he's just an all-around cool person.

Q. Do you see your role behind the scenes as sort of the team comic, keeping everybody loose? It seems like guys are always talking about how you're joking around.

RASHEED WALLACE: Yeah, definitely, because at times like, this especially -- this is our second time here, for some guys on the team it's their first time, so just try to keep them loose and not all tense where if a guy throws a pass away or misses a shot, it's not the end of the world. Just got to go back down to the other end and play defense.

Q. Is it a different feeling waking up this morning and coming to the arena today now that you guys have gotten the kind of game under your belts that you know you guys are capable of playing?

RASHEED WALLACE: Well, we're still down 2-1, so we're not sitting up here jumping for joy. We still have to go out there and try to accomplish what we did last night, tomorrow, and that's our bottom line. That's our main focus.

Q. Do you guys feel like you got back to the physical style of defense you play, or do you need to see in the next game to know for sure if you guys are back to what you were?

RASHEED WALLACE: Well, I think for the next game it will probably be said. We know we have to come hard. We know we have to bring some energy that we brought last night to match their effort.

Q. Antonio obviously earlier in his career was a very athletic player and a lot of dunking, how have you seen him change as a player over the years and how much have you seen him embrace his role with you guys that he has coming off the bench?

RASHEED WALLACE: McDyess is a good player. Dyess and I go back to high school, watching each other, little Christmas tournaments and things like that. But, you know, watching him as he was drafted with me and the teams that he's been on, he's been a great athlete beginning of his career, ran into a couple knee problems, but that didn't stop him. That didn't break him down. He went in rehabilitation, got his knee back together and here he is today. You know, he had that determination that, okay, he had a couple serious, career-ending injuries, but he would not let that stop him to get where he wanted to go.

Q. How emotional has this run been for Antonio, The Finals, knowing what he's been through and how much it's taken for him to get to this point?

RASHEED WALLACE: I know he has to be feeling real good with himself. You know, it wasn't planned or whatever for him to be here. Like I said, he had that determination to get through his injuries. I know he's real happy to be here, but I know he's not satisfied with being here.

Q. You guys threw Tim off a little bit last night and he's always had a history of coming back strong after off-games, what do you look for from him tomorrow?

RASHEED WALLACE: I think to be more involved. You know, he's a major part of their offense, don't matter if he's not even scoring the ball, every time they bring that down the court on the offensive set, he's touching that ball. I think they will probably look to get him some more touches.

Q. Just talking to Gar Heard, he was basically saying the way he saw your game as capable of scoring 20 on any given night but not really having the ego of a scorer, do you agree with that or how do you see yourself? Do you need to be more demanding to be a great scorer?

RASHEED WALLACE: No, I'm not trying to be a great scorer of the game. Great scorers was Kareem, Mike, Larry Bird, they were great scorers, but I'm not out to be a scorer in this game. Personally, it doesn't matter to me if I had the worst career stats in NBA history as long as I got my ships. The ships, it shuts everything up.

Q. Chauncey was saying that one of the common denominators on this team is that everybody on this team or almost everybody has been kicked to the curb at some point, undrafted guys, guys who have bounced around, and you got a chance to come here and reinvent yourself a little bit. Do you think that's one of the things that strengthens and unites this team?

RASHEED WALLACE: Definitely. We did have a couple of guys that were not drafted, McDyess with injuries. Guys came on different paths, and it wasn't easy to get here. I think, definitely, that is one of the things that strengthens us as a team and going out there and having each other's back.

End of FastScripts...

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