- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
WHAT MAKES WALLACE SPECIAL Jerry Stackhouse said Pistons forward Ben Wallace, who leads the league in rebounding and is third in blocked shots, won't get any serious mention for league MVP because the selections are "based mostly on scoring and assists."
But it is the way Wallace plays the game, contesting shots and grabbing rebounds in bunches he had grabbed at least 20 rebounds in three of the Pistons' previous four games that Stackhouse says makes playing with him so special.
"Man, when you start playing as a kid and your dad throws you the ball for the first time, the first thing you do is shoot it," Stackhouse said. "But Ben doesn't have that mentality. His mentality is to go out and get every defensive rebound and to challenge every shot that goes up. That's where his focus is. If he scores a few points on the way, that's cool for him."
Wallace is averaging a league-leading 15.0 rebounds and is third in blocked shots (2.9).
So why won't this get Wallace, considered the top player on the best team in the Eastern Conference, the MVP?
"I think if they get closer to a championship then he'd have a chance at getting it," Stackhouse said of Wallace, who is averaging only 6.7 points. "But if the award was given on what a player means to his team, Ben has to get some consideration because nobody in the league brings what he brings. Take him off the Pistons and they are an average rebounding team. They come off the chart. But scoring is and will always be the thing that determines MVP."
CHAT ROOM Legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith met with Michael Jordan briefly in the Wizards' locker room before the game. Bill Guthridge, who followed Smith as UNC coach, was also present. The two were there to watch the game and visit with their former players including Jerry Stackhouse, Brendan Haywood and the Pistons' Hubert Davis nothing more.
John N. Mitchell

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