The recent post-free throw “Ball Don’t Lie” was one of the latest in a 19-year career full of technical fouls for Rasheed Wallace. 317, to be specific, is the number of times ‘Sheed has pushed a referee beyond his breaking point. But back in high school, things were different. More even-keeled, calm. No outbursts, most of the time.
But there was one – and only one – time when ‘Sheed sort of lost it. And it was the only (repeat: only) time he was called for a techincal foul. Once in four years. 1. One more than zero. Notre Dame’s BCS ranking.
Jonathan Abrams over at Grantland wrote another brilliant piece chronicling the careers of Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace, dating back to their high schools days. That’s how he unearthed this forgotten story, the ONE time Rasheed Wallace received a technical foul.
“That’s why Wallace received his one and only high school technical during his freshman year. [Wallace’s high school coach Bill] Ellerbee told his players that they could dunk whenever they wanted. But if anyone missed a dunk when an easy layup would have sufficed, he’d yank them from the game. During one game, Wallace missed a thunderous slam — and immediately knew he was coming out — so he punched the basketball stanchion in frustration. A referee blew the whistle. His first tech. “I tried to explain to him that [Wallace] would be taken out of the game and everything,” Ellerbee said. “He actually ended up giving me a technical foul, too.”
Once ‘Sheed hit college at North Carolina, the technical foul train started to leave the station. From one in four years to seven in two, followed 317 in 19 years of NBA action. Things kind of ballooned out of control, as you can see.