Be gone Rasheed Wallace

Originally Published: December 16, 2003
By Bill Walton | Special to ESPN.com

    You're an idiot, 'Sheed
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

It has taken many years, but I finally found something that Richard Nixon said that makes sense. In some recently released tapes, the Tricky One said that he found Ronald Reagan to be "strange" and that "on a personal basis, is terrible" and "just isn't pleasant to be around."

I feel the same way about Rasheed Wallace. It is difficult to imagine, fathom or comprehend the thought processes that led to 'Sheed's despicable comments last week, where he accused the NBA of exploiting young players (saying the NBA drafts young players who are "dumb and dumber") and called out NBA commissioner David Stern (saying "I see behind the false screens. I know what this business is all about. I know the commissioner of this league makes more than three-quarters of the players in this league."),

    Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth

But then again, this is a tough person to decipher on almost any front. Wallace is a chronic underachiever, a malcontent, a disruptive force, a negative personality -- and that does not even begin to address his selfishness, emotional immaturity, bitterness and endless anger. I have also personally found him to be a boor and a bully. Those of us with the misfortune of ever having anything to do with this lost soul had to unfortunately accept the lunacy and obnoxious behavior of this sad and pathetic individual.

    Every time I crawl past your door, I've been wishin' I was somebody else instead

Wallace's recent comments are not something that are new or representative of a changing man spiraling ever downward into the depths of psychosis. This is who Rasheed is, and has been for quite some time. Probably the most depressing part of this whole tragic saga is how long we have put up with all this nonsense. Playing in the NBA is a privilege that 'Sheed has dismissed and abrogated.

    You hurt the ones that I love best
    And cover up the truth with lies

Wallace has taken full advantage of the sacrifices of others who have given their lives to create something positive and special.

    You'll never know the hurt I suffered
    Nor the pain I rise above

Rasheed Wallace
This story is particularly galling because it is taking place in Portland, Ore., a place that I have come to know and love over the last 29 years. Portland and Oregon have always been places that have welcomed and tolerated people who have come there with their own ideas and individual agendas. The people who have built a world of freedom and rugged individualism in this little piece of heaven have always been willing to accept the differences in others, often encouraging dissidents and alternative ways of looking at things.

    One day you'll be in the ditch, flies buzzin' around your eyes
    Blood on your saddle

Many years ago, these same people who are now scratching their heads in puzzlement, disappointment and dismay at Rasheed, opened their hearts to me and ultimately gave me much more love, compassion and understanding than I ever deserved.

The people of Portland have so much to be proud of: a beautiful city, harmonious neighborhoods and communities, a place where people have a chance to be part of something truly special. These people have given me the greatest life that anyone could ever dream. They have also been incredibly forgiving of all of my own transgressions against human decency.

And over time the proud people of Portland and Oregon have built one of the strongest pillars of the NBA: The Trail Blazers. Sadly, this magnificent franchise today stands on the edge of ruin because of the regular and ongoing cruelty and hateful, irresponsible actions of Rasheed Wallace. How can we let this happen? The Trail Blazers and the good people of Oregon are entitled to more.

    I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind

Wallace is an embarrassment and a disgrace. I have waited for nine long years for him to change his evil ways. I have grown old, tired and exasperated -- eventually losing faith and patience. Now, I have lost all hope. It is time for Wallace to take his anger, hatred and ridiculous behavior somewhere else. I have had enough. I'm sick and tired of it all. I want my team back.

    I've been double-crossed now for the very last time
    And now I'm finally free

    You're an idiot, 'Sheed
    It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

Bill Walton, who is a regular contributor to ESPN.com, is an NBA analyst for ESPN. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

ESPN.com NBA Insider and Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again serve as a game analyst for ESPN's NBA telecasts. He joined ESPN and ABC Sports' in their inaugural season of NBA coverage in 2002.

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