Gerald Wallace decided it was time to go home and focus on parenting.
He spent 14 years in the NBA, moving from Sacramento to Charlotte to Brooklyn to Boston. Along the way, he became the last player with “Charlotte” on his jersey to be selected for an All-Star Game. He went from an expansion draft to one of the best defensive players in the league.
Now he lives in Childersburg, Ala., and his typical day is watching his daughter, a sixth-grader, play middle-school basketball. He’s content and happy doing that.
Wallace visited Charlotte Thursday for the Hornets-Rockets game. Nine questions with the former Bobcats star:
What do you think of Kemba Walker making the All-Star Game?
The things he does on the court, the energy he brings, is kind of amazing. He had a great year last (season). So he’s much deserving.
Do you watch much NBA basketball?
Not really. I don’t watch much basketball until after the All-Star break. My biggest thing is baseball and football. If I have to sit on the couch, I’d rather watch those. But the intensity picks up after the All-Star break. That’s when I dive into the NBA season.
What was it like in 2010 to be chosen an All-Star?
It was amazing to hear, after all I’d been through in Sacramento. To basically start from Ground Zero here in Charlotte, building it up. To see the organization moving in the direction it did was amazing to me. I had great teammates around me with Raymond (Felton) and Jack (Stephen Jackson).
You’re a huge New England Patriots fan. What was it like to watch that comeback?
The first half I was kind of depressed. The second half was shaky. But I knew in overtime, whoever got the ball first, I figured was going to win. I knew if we got the ball first, we were going to win. Our momentum was just rolling.
Had you given up hope?
My faith had dropped in the first half. It was 21-0. That doesn’t happen to us! Seeing Atlanta over the season, their high-potency offense, I thought, “How can we come back from this?”
Your thoughts, as someone who went through concussions, about the NBA protocol?
I think it’s a great thing. I still have headaches from time to time. This is something that should be taken seriously in the NBA.
Do you miss playing?
Nah. I enjoy being at ball games, watching my kids play. That is more peaceful for me than playing basketball right now.
Your reflections on the Bobcats?
We were an expansion team filled with players who you could say no one else in the league wanted. To go from there to where we were (a playoff team), that’s what makes it special.
How did you change perception?
I think the league saw me only as an athletic guy, talented but couldn’t shoot much. I turned myself into a defensive player, and everything else went from there. I turned myself into one of the top defensive players in the league at that time.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell