Contracts still haven't been signed, and this still only coming from Marc Berman, but it feels done enough that I'm ready to talk about it. Berman:
Rasheed Wallace will officially become a Knick on Monday.
Wallace has told the Knicks he has elected to come out of retirement and join their training camp, according to an NBA source.
The 6-foot-11 Wallace, who worked out with the Knicks over the weekend, retired two years ago after a disappointing season with the Celtics. The Knicks are expected to announce the signing Monday at Media Day. The first practices begin Tuesday.
I do think this is fairly dumb-- not "going to ruin the Knicks dumb", just "why make a 38 year-old un-retire when there are other able-bodied humans on the planet dumb"-- but I don't really care anymore. I'm excited for the Knicks to be a competitive team this year, and I'm separately excited for them to have a bench crawling with old, cantankerous stars of yesteryear. Sheed, of course, is the zaniest of the bunch, and that might just define his primary role. Take a look at the minutes breakdown Paul Chillsap attempted (in which he campaigns against Sheed, but still), and you'll see there's not much space for Wallace to actually play basketball unless someone gets hurt. That just leaves more time for him to say weird shit to reporters, snarl at refs, and rip viscous taco farts on the bench. Sheed stuff. It's going to be hilarious.
If Wallace does have to play basketball, lord knows what'll come of that. How much can he do? More important, how much is he willing to do? Given minutes, the guy might try, might not try, might just slither around center court on his tummy, screaming incoherently and grabbing at other players' ankles. These are uncertainties unique to a Rasheed Wallace signing, but here we are.
Some (Rorschach44, most recently) have made the point about someone like Sheed (Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, and Marcus Camby as well) having enough clout to act as auxiliary coach and rein in someone like Melo or Amar'e or J.R. when they need reining in. Hey, maybe. Until these Knicks actually take the court, one can only guess how the dynamic between the stars and the yesterstars will function. The "veteran leadership" might actually amount to something, and there might be real, adult reasons to be excited about this. For now, I'm just excited because we get to make even more jokes about Maalox and installing handrails in the locker room and stuff.
Meanwhile, if this season ends without us seeing a Prigioni-Kidd-Wallace-Thomas-Camby lineup, I will be irate. Nickname ideas for this lineup here and on Twitter have included "The Expendables", "Space Cowboys" (my favorite, but apparently nobody else LOVES that movie), and Matt Moore's offering of "The Jurassic 5", which is pretty great.
I assume Sheed's deal will be guaranteed (making it the 14th such contract on the roster), but that hasn't been announced yet, so you never know. Either way, New York's training camp roster will hit the maximum of 20 mans. If they want to make another signing, they'll have to cut somebody.
Welcome to our team, Rasheed Wallace.