One-On-One: Ben Wallace

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ONE-ON-ONE benwallace

How long has it been since you cut your hair?
About four and a half to five years

How do you decide whether to wear an afro or cornrows? Does it depend on your mood?
Whatever my wife feels like. That’s the method to the madness.

What color headband do you prefer? Red, white or blue?

Bill Walton said, "Blow it out Ben. Man, I wish I could have hair like that," during an ESPN telecast. Do you have any tips for him?
I don't have any tips, but if he comes to The Palace we will get him one of those good wigs from the Palace Locker Room Store.

Do you prefer Darko Blonde or Brunette?
I like the Blonde look.

If you could play one-on-one with any player in NBA history, who would it be?
I actually had that opportunity. When I was down in
Orlando I had a chance to play against Dr. J one-on-one.

Rip says nobody on the team could beat him on-on one. Chauncey says there's no way Rip could beat him one-on-one. Who do you think would win: Rip or Chauncey?
I would like to see that match up, but I know I can beat either one of them one-on-one.

How does it feel to be the only un-drafted player to start in the All-Star Game?
It feels good to just play in the All-Star Game. To be the first un-drafted player to start, I think it speaks volumes for those guys trying to make to the league that there are always opportunities if you just stay prepared.

Do you feel any pressure you hold back your defense because it’s an All-Star Game?
No. Given the opportunity I'll let my defense shine. The All- Star Game is about going out and having fun, it’s more for the fans. Whatever happens, happens.

How will this All-Star weekend be different from last years?
I'll just get to enjoy all the activities leading up to the game.
Which Outkast member are you looking forward to meeting at the All-Star game:
Andre or Big Boi?

Dre. Everybody wants to meet Dre.

What is it about your game that attracts almost 2 million voters?
I guess because my game never changes, I always play one way, one speed.

Who’s a better match up for you, Yao or Shaq?
Pick your poison. I think Shaq brings the best out of everybody.
Better movie: Bad Boys I or Bad Boys II
I like Bad Boys II

Better Team: Bad Boys I or Bad Boys II
Number one is always going to be better

Who would win in a game of one-on-one: Will Smith as Mike Lowrey or Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett?
Mike Lowrey
Who would play you in a comedy?
Chris Tucker

What about an action movie?
Who would play me, besides me? I don't know, that's a tough one.

Funnier to watch: Charles Barkley kiss the donkey’s ass or play golf?
Playing golf
Why do you always wear your practice shorts backwards?
The first basketball game I ever played in, I was so excited and so nervous, that when I got dressed, I put my shorts on backwards. I was having a good game, and I didn’t realize until after the game the guys told me, “You know, you got your shorts are on backwards.” Our bus driver at the time said “You were out there running around we couldn't tell if you were going or coming”. So it just stuck with me. They're on backwards, so you don't know if I'm going or coming.

Fans have reported spotting you wearing your teammates’ warm-ups. What’s the story behind that?
If I’m doing a player of the game interview or something, I always do the interview in a rookie’s warm-up jacket so I can give him some airtime.

Favorite sport other than basketball?

Favorite team?
Dallas Cowboys

Best Michael Jackson song before he released the Black or White album?
Billy Jean
Chucky spoke about how well the Detroit fans have received you. What makes you fit in so well here in Detroit?
My game is what Detroit is all about, hard work.

Who do you think is the best rookie this season?
It’s a toss up right now. Carmello has put his team on his back and their winning games. LeBron James has stepped up to the challenge with Cleveland. Now they are winning games, I think it can go either way right now.

Do you think you could
bench press trainer
Mike Abdenour?


What about Arnie Kander?
No Doubt.

Photos by: Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images (Wallace); Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images (Erving, Tucker); Ezra Shaw/NBAEGetty Images (Smith); Doug Pensinger/Getty Images (Cowboys); Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images (Abdenour); Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images (James/Anthony)