DID SHEED PULL A RODMAN?
Of course I can never prove it. And if I asked Rasheed Wallace the qustion I am sure he would deny it.
But I think Wallace pulled a Dennis Rodman over on the media Friday, but did not mention the word race when he talked about San Antonio Spurs sensation Manu Ginobili.
Back during the heat of the Pistons-Boston Celtics rivalry in the 1980s, after another bitter playoff loss to the hated C's Rodman said Larry Bird would just be another player if he were black.
In other words the media, who is mostly white, is showering praise on a player who they view as the great white hope. Isiah Thomas foolishly got into the national glare by agreeing with his teammate and the next thing you know Zeke is at the NBA Finals holding a bogus joint press conference with Bird to apologize.
Wallace did not say it. But I sure bet he was thinking it when reporters asked him about Ginobili.
"He's all right,” Wallace said with a shrug. “He's a good ballplayer. In my mind, there ain't nothing too special about the kid.”
The sports media now has Manu fever. Folks want to be like Manu. We no longer play one-on-one basketball. Rather we play Manu ah Manu basketball. He is all flash and dash and emotion and is now a budding super star.
And oh by the way he popped the Pistons across the nose in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a splendid 26-point performance.
He is a South American player with hair that flashes across the screen. He is a white man dominating in a black man's world.
I've talked to a number of black athletes over the years and they sometimes quetion why certain athletes are praised more in the media than others. It does not always boil down to race because some question why New Jersey's Vince Carter gets so much play.
But they sometimes roll their eyes and believe whites still get more praise than blacks if they are good.
That might be true in some cases. It is not true in this one.
Ginobili can play. Game 1 was not a fluke. It is what he's been doing most of the playoffs.
The Spurs might remain Tim Duncan's team, but Ginobili bought a piece of the rock and we should start seeing him make NBA All-Star games.
If Rasheed Wallace does not think he is that special then the Pistons need to shut him down and shut the media up.
When the guy dunked on the entire Pistons team the other night it sure looked special to me.
So was Rasheed's comments Dennis Rodman-Larry Bird II? I have no way of proving it. I just suspect that is the case.