Wallace tried to make it back for the playoffs, but knew after a brief stint Monday against Charlotte that it was over.
“We all wish we can play forever but that’s just not the case,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “Some play longer than the others and in this case he had a long career, man, and he tried to come back and it just didn’t work and he’s going to move on with his life.”
The Knicks made the announcement in a release shortly after their morning shootaround. Woodson said after the workout only that Wallace was struggling with soreness and his status for the playoffs wasn’t known.
Also, Amare Stoudemire’s status for the postseason is unclear as he recovers from right knee surgery.
The Knicks added another big man Wednesday by signing Earl Barron.
The 6-foot-11 forward was a key player off the bench during the Knicks‘ strong start, but hadn’t played since December before returning Monday against Charlotte.
Wallace, who had surgery to repair a broken left foot on Feb. 28, lasted only 4 minutes before exiting because of continued soreness.
“But again, I think when you’ve played a number of years in this league, you know,” Woodson said. “There comes a time when you know that you just can’t answer the bell anymore and that’s the hard part about playing professional sports, because it’s tough to walk away when you know you can’t do it anymore.”
The Knicks expect Tyson Chandler (bulging disk) and Kenyon Martin (sprained left ankle) to be ready for the opener.
Thomas was waived recently to free up a roster spot after his season ended because of a stress fracture in his foot. The Knicks were hoping Wallace would be able to give them a few minutes a game in the postseason, but Woodson acknowledged earlier Wednesday that the soreness was a “big problem.”