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Big Ben: 19-20 NBA champs should have asterisk

The former Pistons agrees with Shaquille O'Neal that history should remember this year's winners differently.
Credit: ESPN
Drive part owner Ben Wallace agrees with Shaquille O'Neal that history should remember this year's winners differently.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — It’s safe to say basketball great Ben Wallace is conflicted about the argument to bring back all 30 NBA teams and finish out the season.

“If I was mathematically eliminated,” he former Piston explains. “I wouldn’t want to be out there from that standpoint.”

That is his opinion from a players standpoint but he also can see it from the other side, now that he’s working in management as the part owner of the Grand Rapids drive.

“It’s a tough decision,” he says. “I wouldn’t want to be in a position to make that call.”

As it turns out, the call may have already been made. Reports say commissioner Adam Silver is set to present a plan to the NBA board of governors Thursday. ESPN says only 22 teams will be back and they all are in playoff contention but here’s the thing.

“I think it will be competitive but I think the asterisk will still have to go by the championship,” says Wallace, who helped Detroit win the title in 2004.

Clearly, Wallace shares the opinion of Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal that history will remember this year’s winner a little differently. However he also believes winning the title would still be just as sweet.

“As far as taking it serious, as professional athletes, we all enjoy having bragging rights” Wallace told 13 On Your Side.

Regardless, the likely plan is to play at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. Fans won’t be allowed at the games but as Wallace points out, that could offer them a chance to experience something they’ve never been exposed to when watching the action on TV.

“Now that there is no fans on the floor, and no loud music, you get to see how much chattering really goes on, during the course of the game,” he says with a smile.

You can bet it’s going to be different.

“We’ve been without it for a couple months. We realize those things are really not important at all.”

But compared to the alternative, Wallace says “different” really isn’t that bad.

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