Knicks head coach David Fizdale brought in former NBA champion and four-time All-Star Rasheed Wallace in for practice ahead of Monday's matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, and he hopes one of the players who benefits from Wallace's presence is rookie Mitchell Robinson.
Fizdale hopes Robinson, New York's second-round pick this past June, can become a more vocal leader in time. And who better than Wallace?
"He changed that Pistons team with his voice," Fizdale said, according to ESPN's Ian Begley. "That's something I'm really hoping he can get Mitchell to understand: To be a defensive quarterback, you've really got to use that voice."
Rasheed Wallace with Knicks assistant coach Pat Sullivan before tonight's Knicks-Nets game. Wallace, an ex Knick, worked with the club's big men at practice on Sunday. He played with New York in 2012-13. pic.twitter.com/3kqIAGmBmH- Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 29, 2018
Wallace, 44, played 16 seasons in the league with five teams, including six with the Detroit Pistons. Though he retired in 2010, he came out of retirement in the 2012-13 season and played 21 games with the Knicks, averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
But more than his on-court skills, Wallace had a strong vocal presence on the court. Of course, he made famous the phrase "Ball don't lie" and once went an entire press conference answering every question with "Both teams played hard."
That said, Fizdale praised Wallace's basketball IQ, according to The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov, and hopes the 20-year-old Robinson, who has averaged 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds through his first four games, can learn more from him.
Rasheed Wallace sitting on the bench with Mitchell Robinson and watching film with the Knicks rookie and assistant coach Pat Sullivan pregame. Sheed was also at Knicks practice yesterday. pic.twitter.com/cyVdzcilkZ- Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) October 29, 2018
Wallace attended Knicks practice on Sunday, and Fizdale said Wallace could stick around several more times this season. He also said Chauncey Billups may come in and work with the team at some point this season.