Muslim professional basketball star Rasheed Wallace had seemingly played his last National Basketball Association (NBA) game in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals with the Boston Celtics, as he retired right after that series. But now comes word that Wallace plans to un-retire, as Comcast Sports Net New England (CSNNE.com) reported that he will be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although he had two years remaining on his contract, Wallace and the Celtics came to terms on a buy-out of the remaining years believed to be worth about $1 million. His return to action has been rumored for weeks, fueled by a decent showing at Pro-Am tournament in North Carolina this summer. It only became heightened by, according to league sources, a renewed conditioning regimen that apparently has him looking better than he has â€œin years.â€
With a roster of 14 players, the Lakers can add Wallace and not have to worry about waiving a player to make room. His addition will likely fuel rumors that the Lakers will become even more aggressive in their attempts to trade away Pau Gasol. However, a front office executive whose team has had both internal and external discussions about Gasol, said the addition of Wallace will only be to strengthen their bench.
â€œHis days as a starter in this league are gone,â€ said the source. â€œI think he knows that, and so do the Lakers. But think about it. Of the big men that are available, is there one thatâ€™s really better? And if heâ€™s gotten himself in shape, adding him becomes a huge get for them.â€ As for the Celtics, Boston had no interest in reuniting with Wallace when word spread that he was planning to make a comeback. And that lack of disinterest, CSNNE.com has learned, was mutual.