Chat Transcript: Gerald Wallace
Wallace is bettering all of those numbers for Charlotte this season, and anybody who has ever watched a Bobcats game can tell you there are few players in the NBA who play with the intensity, energy and emotion that Wallace brings every night. He leads Charlotte in points and blocked shots, while shooting over 53 percent from the field also a team best. He¹s second on the in rebounds and steals, and is the only player in the NBA to average over two steals and two blocks this season.
He¹s also looking for a nickname. Wallace took part in a live chat on Thursday, March 2 on BobcatsBasketball.com. Gerald talked about this year's team and revealed his top five nicknames that fans will be able to vote on until Thursday, March 9, so make sure to cast your vote on the homepage of BobcatsBasketball.com.
Tre LaMora, Rochester, NY: How do you feel about the nickname contest, and do you feel like you deserve a nickname? I do, so keep up the great work!
Gerald Wallace: I feel good about it. It's a great thing for me to get a nickname and I thought it would be fun to get the fans involved. It's great to let them interact with us and help choose a name for me.
Carlos Munoz; El Paso : Hey Gerald, I was just wondering...was there a nickname you like in particular or if you could share some old nicknames you've had.
Gerald Wallace: Not really. I've had a few, from fans coming to the game and things like that. I've liked all of them. Mostly people just called me Wallace or "G." I did have 'Bama Slammer when I was in college at Alabama, the student section gave me that one.
Tim (Charlotte): How's did you feel when you were named captain.. how have you embraced the role?
Gerald Wallace: That was a big achievement to me, to be named co-captain of the team with Brevin Knight. It's something I'll cherish and I hope to use my experience in the league, playing on a top-level team like the Kings' squads I played for, and try and help my Bobcats teammates.
Jordan Raygoza (Corning,CA): I've liked your game since you were in college, but who did you idolize growing up?
Gerald Wallace: When I was growing up, I had the same idol of every other kid, Michael Jordan. He was the man. It was the Jordan Era, so obviously he was the role model.
Bryce PG, Utah: Gerald, do you enjoy playing with young rookies Sean May and Raymond Felton?
Gerald Wallace: Those two guys are really great. They're great players who are learning how to play in the NBA. I haven't seen too much of Sean, with his injury, but Ray is a legit NBA guard and a pleasure to play with. I look forward to playing more with Sean too.
Danny NY: Hey, i was wondering, when was the first time you have ever dunked a ball?
Gerald Wallace: Hmmm. Let's see. It came in junior high. I couldn't palm the ball that good, but I could go up and get one off the backboard and the rim and put it down.
JRo - Mangere, New Zealand.: Hey G-Dub (nice & simple for a nickname?) , I just wanna say that I admire the way you elevate prior to performing a crazy slam-dunk. Also, whos perfect dunk was the sickest at the 2006 All-Star slam-dunk competition -- AI2 under the backboard/rim or Nate over Spud? JRo.
Gerald Wallace: Both of those were excellent dunks. At 5-5 whatever, to be able to dunk over another person is great. And Andre, that behind the backboard thing, I've never seen anything like that in my life! But, I couldn't choose one over the other, they were both great dunks by terrific athletes.
Henry (Aurora, IL): In light of the fact that you are the only player in the NBA averaging over 2 steals and 2 blocks per game, Do you believe that you should be considered the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year? Thanks
Gerald Wallace: The Defensive Player of the Year is a huge accomplishment, but I don't think I'm there yet. It's a personal goal down the line, but I don't think I'm quite there yet. I hope to get there and I'm gonna keep working toward it.
Paul (Flint): I admire the tenacity of your defense. I think it takes great focus to be able to defend as well as you do. What makes you play defense so hard? Was it something you always liked to do, did you admire great defensive players when you were coming up?
Gerald Wallace: You know, it's just something I got adjusted to. Growing up, I could always score. But what separates great players from average players, is the guy who can do the job on both ends. So, while the offense is something that might get more attention, if you really want to be a good player, you need to concentrate and pride yourself on playing good defense, too.
Sean (NC): Hey Gerald.. what's your favorite play this year? SOme of your blocks have been sick.
Gerald Wallace: Hmmm. It's hard to say. It's been a good all-around season for me. I don't think I can just pick out one play. I just want to stay healthy and contribute and do my best job each night.
Connor Chicago: How is playing with Emeka Okafor?
Gerald Wallace: It's great, especially if you're a defensive player, because he is a great shotblocker, he's that wall behind you, so you can go out and fill those passing lanes and really attack the perimeter with your defense. I think Emeka has a chance to be one of the truly great players in the NBA.
Sebastian (Corvallis, OR): Hi Gerald, you have been one of my favorite players to watch since your year at Alabama, and it's great to see you get to play these last two years. I just want to know, what do you think you would have liked to do with your life if you didn't make it in the NBA? Thanks
Gerald Wallace: I was really a baseball fan. My dream always was, and in a way, still is, to play Major League Baseball. Basketball was my second sport. So, if not in the NBA, I'd like to be playing baseball somewhere. If not in sports, something in criminal justice, maybe helping young kids and keeping them on the straight and narrow.
Jordan (Columbus, OH): How do you feel about the upside of the young Bobcats?
Gerald Wallace: I feel good about it. Our coaching staff has done a great job, stressing that we need to play hard every night. As we mature that will only help. We can only go up. As the years go, I think you're gonna see more and more improvement. I think in five or six years, maybe we can challenge for a championship.
Moderator: Gerald it's now time to give us your final five nicknames that fans will be able to vote on in a poll on BobcatsBasketball.com.
Gerald Wallace: 3-D, Big G, High-Riser, Showstopper, G-Force and The Energizer.
Gerald Wallace: Thanks to the fans for reaching out and communicating with me today. I'm sorry I didn't get to answer all your questions, but I really appreciate the interest. I as a player and we as a team really appreciate all your support and thanks again.