By David Aldridge, TNT analyst
Posted Jun 24 2010 7:39PM
The Boston Celtics' expected rebuilding began Thursday when veteran forward Rasheed Wallace officially decided to retire after 15 NBA seasons, a league source said.
Wallace's retirement had been expected after the Celtics' seven-game loss to the Lakers in the Finals, but Boston had held out some hope that the 35-year-old would change his mind with a few days' contemplation.
Wallace signed a three-year, $18.9 million contract with Boston last summer, turning down offers from Orlando and San Antonio after the Celtics made a team-wide push to recruit him, sending Coach Doc Rivers, GM Danny Ainge and forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Wallace's home to ask him to play in Boston. He left more than $12 million on the table by opting to retire.
Wallace was not in great shape at the beginning of the season, but saved his best play for late in the regular season and in the playoffs, stepping in at center when starter Kendrick Perkins was injured and could not go in Game 7.
A controversial figure who amassed numerous technical fouls in his career amid numerous run-ins with referees, Wallace averaged 14.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in his career, which included stops in Washington, Portland, Atlanta (for just one game before he was traded to Detroit), the Pistons and Celtics. He was the key acquisition in Detroit's run to the 2004 NBA championship, teaming with center Ben Wallace to form a nearly impregnable halfcourt defense in the paint.
|GameTime: Wiggins Opening Pitch|
Timberwolves rookie Andrew Wiggins threw out the opening pitch at the Twins and Diamondbacks game on Monday at Target field.
|NBA Rooks: Mitch McGary|
OKC big man Mitch McGary shares his transition to the NBA on this edition of NBA Rooks.
|GameTime: Paul George Interview|
Pacers star Paul George sits down with NBA legend Reggie Miller to talk about his progress after suffering a broken leg with Team USA.
|GameTime: Trust it or Bust it |
Dennis Scott and Rick Kamla preview the top storylines heading into the season.
|Mitchell Give-And Go|
Tony Mitchell recovers the steal and throws it down on the give-and go.