Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Rasheed Wallace has smoothed things over with Blazers fans in recent years - he even received a hearty ovation from the Moda Center crowd in 2015. Wallace, however, still has enmity for the local media.
Speaking with Kevin Garnett on TNT’s Area 21, Wallace explained that he felt the Portland media had treated him unfairly during his 7.5 seasons with the Blazers in the late-’90s/early-2000s.
Wallace: Unfortunately there was some mishaps in there. And when I say mishaps I mean guys might have gotten speeding tickets or DUIs.
Garnett: [The local media] blew it up like it was over the top.
Wallace: They were going to do that in Portland because we were the only show in town. You know, it’s the only professional sports show in town.
Wallace: The only things that could “blow up,” or make local writers big is if they go ahead and try to report everything that’s happening at all. You know speeding tickets, or if you parked at a handicapped spot - they would report anything. So we knew it was all about us and we had to stick together and fight through it. And that we did no matter what they labeled us.
The full video can be found here:
Despite the popularity Wallace found in 2015, he is unlikely to win over any additional fans by complaining about the reporting of the team’s legal transgressions during the “Jail Blazers” era. DUIs, especially, are serious crimes that can have dire life-or-death consequences for all involved and should not be trivialized.
Wallace played in 544 games for the Blazers from 1996 to 2004 and averaged 16.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the Blazers. Wallace made two all-star appearances as a Blazer, but also set a league record with 41 technical fouls during the 2000-2001 season.