Rasheed Wallace has joined the Detroit Pistons’ coaching staff, three months after retiring from the NBA for the second time.
The 38-year-old retired at the end of the 2012-13 season with the New York Knicks. The 17-year veteran has also played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta Hawks, Pistons, and Boston Celtics. Wallace previously retired in 2010 after one season with the Celtics. He had signed a three-year contract, but officially retired on August after the team bought out the contract. He came out of retirement on October 3, 2012, but after he was unable to recover from a left foot injury, he retired for a second time.
The four-time All-Star had been in discussions with the Pistons about a player development role for the past month. Wallace played five seasons with the Pistons, leading the team to the NBA championship in 2004, his first season in Detroit.
When the Pistons hired Maurice Cheeks to replace Lawrence Frank as head coach, a spot opened up for assistant coach. Cheeks told ESPN Monday that the team was working out the final details with Wallace.
“He’s going to bring a lot of knowledge of how to help our young guys play on the block, because he’s been around the league for, like, forever,” Cheeks said. “With him having played that [post] position for such a long time, I know he’s going to be a great asset to what we’re building.”
In his nearly two-decade career, Wallace averaged 14.4 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. But he also received 41 technical fouls over 80 games, routinely leading the league, and finished his career with 317. Before he made his coaching debut at the Pistons’ summer league game against the Celtics, Wallace said he be more calm in his new job than he was on the court.
“He can make that transition,” Cheeks said. “A lot of us, we didn’t start out being a certain way we are right now. But change evolves you, and he’s evolved. He realizes he’s in the second phase of his life now. And now he’s a coach. He has to make that transition, and I think he’ll be fine.”