By: Brian Faith
Team chemistry is one of basketball’s greatest mysteries. Where does it come from? How does it develop? Are certain players born with an innate ability to unite? Can chemistry be cultivated and developed like a corner jump shot?
The Knicks added several veteran players this offseason, and almost immediately, the Knicks emerged as one of the most cohesive teams in the league.
One of the main reasons behind this cohesion is the presence of veteran forward Rasheed Wallace.
It didn’t take long for Wallace to make his presence felt with the New York Knicks this season. The first month of the season has already produced extensive ‘Sheeeeeeeed’ chants from the Garden fateful. The chants began with just over three minutes left in the season-opener against the Miami Heat, and they have continued ever since.
Wallace is playing significant minutes as a quality rotation big man, and his impact has been felt by the organization in more subtle ways. Wallace has secured his place not just atop the collective conscious of Knicks’ fans, but he has also secured a spot in Coach Woodson’s rotation. Thus, we unveil a new weekly feature entitled Ball Don’t Lie, examining Sheed’s impact on and off the court.
“It’s three points. Take that to the head,” Wallace deadpanned.
Since that moment, his teammates have embraced the symbolic gesture after their own three-point buckets (save Steve Novak, whose “Discount Triple Check” has its own place among the great in-game celebrations). It may seem trivial at this point in the season, but one can picture Wallace silencing a raucous playoff crowd in a hostile environment then turning to the Knicks’ bench for “three to the head.”
These gestures are the types of small details and overlooked moments that transform teams. Chemistry is happening right in front of us. This example constitutes the immeasurable, unquantifiable impact of Rasheed Wallace.
Ball don’t lie.