Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/15/12
Bulls_vs_pistons_5e7d

While Jeremy Lin is setting the world on fire and showing the world what an undrafted rookie can do, another one is riding off into the sunset. It has been a slow go to the end for Ben Wallace, but the end is nearing.

Before playing in his 1,055th game of his career, the most by an undrafted player since the ABA-merger in 1977, Wallace announced that this season will be his last.

Ben Wallace might be one of the most surprising players to come through NBA history. At one point, this starting All-Star center was considered a guard by the Boston Celtics and thrown on the trash heap for the Washington Bullets/Wizards to pick up.

"It takes a special type of guy to stay at something long enough to make it to this level," Wallace told Noah Trister of the Associated Press. "A lot of times you're being told that you're too this, you're too that, you can't do this, you can't do that.

"Once you get here, you want to be able to show everybody that you're capable of going out and playing at a high level night in and night out. I'm just proud to have had the opportunity to come here and play."

He really found his footing and turned into the most dominant defensive force in the league, anchoring the Detroit Pistons to two Finals appearances and plenty of Playoff victories and deep postseason runs. He won Defensive Player of the Year four times and went to four All-Star games, starting in two of them. He was named to the First Team All-Defense five times.

Statistics don't really do his play justice -- 5.9 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game and 0.141 win shares per 48 minutes. It was how well his teams did that made Wallace so good.

At least, with the Pistons. When he signed his big contract with the Bulls, he seemed unable to live up to the expectations of his 3-year, $40 million-plus contract. That was just too much to ask from a 32-year-old defensive ace. Wallace's skills and value have declined over the years.

Now, he is playing out his final season in Detroit.

Wallace's legacy is going to be difficult to judge. He is extremely respected by his peers and an incredibly hard worker -- obviously he would have to be to go so long in the league despite never developing much offense outside of the area around the rim. But those limitations and the limited run of his extreme success could make him more a nice story rather than one of the all-times. And there are people who believe he is up there and deserves some Hall of Fame consideration.

Still, no one should let whatever legacy Wallace leaves as a hindrance to his accomplishment in staying in the league the last 16 years when a whole bunch of teams passed over him and gave up on him. Wallace, if anything, proved that you never know when the next big player will fall into your lap. All they need is that opportunity.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian television want 49ers to showcase Jarryd Hayne

Urban Meyer: We will announce starting QB first snap of season

Mike Shanahan: Kirk Cousins will be a top-10 NFL QB

Raiders Khalil Mack is going to be a superstar

Buffalo Bills name Tyrod Taylor their starting QB

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson: My goal is to go undefeated

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly praises Tim Tebow: ‘He’s had a good camp’

Jay Gruden: RG3 benched for performance, not concussion

Judge: No settlement in Brady against NFL, decision by Friday

Wozniacki: Media should move on from McIlroy relationship

Hogan contemplated suicide after racist rant went public

Fred Jackson released by Bills after eight seasons with team

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

U.S. Open men's preview

U.S. Open women's preview

D'Angelo Russell zings Lakers fans

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker