The Curious Case of Gerald Wallace

I’ve written a few Curious Case pieces for a very curious season thus far, but the Gerald Wallace situation is probably the most deserving of our collective curiosity. Wallace, in an interview that ran on the Boston Herald's website this morning, brought up many good questions about what exactly is being asked of him as the Celtics' go to veteran.

“It’s hard,” Wallace said. “It’s like starting from scratch zero with this team and trying to figure out what direction they’re headed in and what pieces they’re going to put together. For me, I’ve already been through that situation. I was on an expansion team in Charlotte. I’ve established myself. To have to start all over on a team that’s starting from scratch is very difficult.”

Gerald Wallace is playing in his 13th NBA season this year. The task of starting over AGAIN can’t be an easy one, especially when what you’re being asked to do and what is expected of you seem to be two completely different things. Is he supposed to be the veteran leader on this team or is he getting dealt really soon? Is he supposed to be contributing minutes off the bench or is he supposed to be providing stability at the start of the game? What is it exactly that Crash Wallace needs to do here?

If you ask the man himself, he is on the Celtics to be a leader. Something that he is more than willing to do, despite the leadership needed clashes with his style that has kept him playing professional basketball for over 10 years.

“I think the main thing is trying to help the guys and get them to understand the situation we’re in, what’s at hand for us and what it’s going to take for us to win in this league. I was told when I came here to be more of a leader. I can understand that, but my personality . . . I’m not an outspoken, outgoing, in-your-face kind of player. I kind of lead by example out on the court, going out and giving my all. I try to push my teammates to compete at the same level that I compete at.

That’s the type of leadership I’ve always given and always done. Being in this situation is new for me in trying to be vocal and trying to speak to guys. I’m trying to do that to the best of my ability, but I’m still trying to see how to approach guys.

“I’m out there and I’m trying to give my 110 percent, and at the same time I’m trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing and how I can do the most to help.”

The main issue with the Celtics is not hustle. There is no shortage of Tommy Points. There is no one on this roster not trying to do exactly what Coach Stevens is asking. Wallace, as vocal and chippy as he sounds in the press, is at work everyday giving his all to a team that he very well may not be long for.

“But it doesn’t change how I approach this. I’m here to work. At the end of the day, we’re still playing basketball and I love this game. I love to play basketball, and when I’m out on the court I’m going to give 110 percent. I just want us to do well. Guys are getting frustrated. I think the main thing I’m saying is that if guys were more zoned in on what was being expected of them, we’d be OK.”

Here is the good news- no matter how many times Gerald Wallace says “we need to work harder as a team,” it is better than him saying “the negativity in this town sucks. It stinks and it sucks.” Gerald Wallace isn’t quitting on this team, he isn’t blaming anyone but the men on the floor at game time, and frustrated or not, he is showing up.

The problem is that right now 100% effort may not be enough. Until there is a clear picture for what this team has, needs, and is setting up for, what we need from Gerald Wallace is patience.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Source: Steve Bulpett; Boston Herald

Photo Source: A/P