Either you’re slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot”
The above lyrics were actually from a man named Christopher Wallace. For those who don’t know, that was the real name of the rapper Notorious B.I.G. Those 2 lines have actually contributed more to the game of basketball in a positive fashion than someone else. Someone who was involved in a team for 10 years and as the General Manager for 6 of them. He also shares the same name.
Chris Wallace was hired by the Celtics in 1997. He’s a dropout of KansasUniversity where he decided to go back home to his parents’ house in West Virginia and build an encyclopedia on basketball facts. Whether or not he was really in his “parent’s basement” is debatable.
So he was hired by the Evil Emperor, whose real name shall not be mentioned, back in 1997. The Evil Emperor’s words himself back in May of 1997:
“Chris Wallace is the ultimate basketball bet. You won't stump him on a player. He knows the players, and he knows the agents, and everybody likes him.”
Let’s review some of the stellar moves the duo made (remember the Evil Emperor was coach and president, while the Buffoon was the general manager).
After acquiring Chris Mills in August of 1997:
"I think Chris Mills is going into the prime of his career," Wallace said.
Mills never played for the Celtics since he was traded to the Knicks for Walter McCarty. Oh but he sure was entering the “prime of his career.” He averaged just 41 games per year (injuries) over the next 6 years and failed to shoot higher than 43% from the field.
When Kris Clack “slid” to the Celts at #55 in 1999 here was his quote:
"We were very shocked," said Wallace. "This is someone who was projected to go in the late first round or maybe early in the second. We were very, very shocked and we didn't ask any questions about it."
Clack to this day has not seen a minute of NBA action.
The next season the Celtics had the 11th pick in the draft. They went with Jerome Moiso. Here was Wallace’s quote:
"He's an incredibly gifted athlete," said Wallace, who presented Moiso with jersey No.5, last worn by Ron Mercer. "In a lot of cases, when you're dealing with a prospect with his kind of athleticism, you don't see the basketball skills to match it. That's not the case with Jerome.”
Moiso was out of the league in 5 seasons only averaging 9.6 minutes per game in 145 games. His career ended with a 2.7 career ppg.
Anything I say, do the opposite
In 2001 the Celtics had 3 first round picks (taking the option the first season on Denver’s pick which in 2 years turned into Carmelo Anthony). They selected Joe Johnson at 10, Kedrick Brown at 11, and Joe Forte at 21.
Johnson could play and actually started earlier in the season. So naturally when Phoenix requested Brown in the trade for Rodney Rogers and Tony Delk, Wallace shipped them Joe Johnson. No reason for me to get into career stats for Brown (major flop). Forte’s career was over after 25 games.
And then who can forget the Kenny Anderson trade for Vin Baker? After a magical 2002 run to the Eastern Conference Championship, Wallace decided to unload Anderson for Vin Baker. Here’s the info I could dig up on that debacle:
Chris Wallace] set the record straight on the disastrous [Vin Baker] deal, confessing that he was the one who pulled the trigger on the trade and killed any chance the Celts had of building on last season. Paul Gaston may have been a contemptible slug who stole everything but the air in the balls before he left town, but what use would he have had for Vin Baker? He wouldn't allow Wallace to re-sign Rodney Rogers, but there would have been no reason for him to insist on filling the void with Baker. He was greedy, not crazy. It was Wallace who thought Baker just needed to get out of Seattle and away from all the quality centers out West. Wallace looked at Baker's stats from last season - 14.1 points and 6.4 boards a game - and thought: Why can't he do that for us? That would be enough. That would take the pressure off Walker and Pierce and give the Celtics their first low-post presence since Kevin McHale. That would make it all worthwhile. Fifty-year-old Bill Walton on ESPN said the other day that after 32 operations on his feet he's still better than Vin Baker. Pretty soon [Jim O'Brien] will decide that Grant Long is better than Baker, and maybe Bruno Sundov, too. The coach already decided that Walter McCarty's better. Soon the Celts will have the highest-paid 12th man in NBA history. And they'll have an emotionally fragile guy who will slide down the bench and perhaps off the deep end.
Every single move this guy made was worst than the next. Every draft selection and trade was never in the C’s best interest. I’m fairly confident had they done the opposite of what Wallace suggested, they would’ve faired better with personnel.
And then to top it all off, Wallace while finally out of our hair in Memphis, gift wraps Pau Gasol to our most hated enemy for nothing. He gave them the piece to their puzzle to put them in the upper echelon of the West. Remember the 3 seasons before that after Shaq had been traded resulted in the Lakers missing the playoffs in 2005, and being the 7th seed knocked out in the first round in both 2006 and 2007. It was the Celts time to regain control of this league and catch up on down years they had. Celts-Spurs would’ve been some interesting contests. But the Buffoon struck again.
The whole point of the Gasol deal was to “save money.” Which as johnnyrondo mentioned the other day, was now absorbed in acquiring Zach Randolph of all people.
I want each and every Celtic fan to keep this in mind. When any of us think back to the players or coaches we hated the most, please never forget Chris The Buffoon Wallace. He’s hurt us for so incredibly long (12 years and counting). I wish this guy would somehow be coerced out of the NBA, never to be seen or heard from again.
Yes Notorious BIG’s lyrics resonated with many of today’s players who come from poverty-stricken areas. Selling drugs or playing hoops may have been the 2 ways to get out of those conditions. God only knows it makes a hell of a lot more sense than anything the Buffoon ever did.