Wallace, acquired from Atlanta on Thursday in a three-team trade, played 12 minutes in the first half of Friday night’s 88-87 loss to Minnesota. The NBA, though, ruled that he could not play in the second half because paperwork from the deal had not been completed by the start of the game.
Wallace was stunned when Detroit coach Larry Brown broke the news to him at halftime.
“I went up to Rasheed and said, ‘You and Mike (James) can’t play,” Brown recalled. “He kind of laughed. I said, ‘I’m serious.’ He said, ‘You’re not serious.’
“We’re on national TV, with all this attention, a full house, it’s crazy it’s not right.”
Wallace had four points and two rebounds in his limited action.
“I felt like they wasted all of our time,” Wallace said. “It definitely hurt.”
Wallace was received well by the crowd. He got a standing ovation when he stepped on the court with 4:31 left in the first quarter.
“It was great. It was all love,” Wallace said. “That showed me that they want me here and that showed basketball is alive and well in ‘The D’.”
The loss was Detroit’s seventh in eight games. They had won 17 of their previous 20 before hitting the rough stretch.
The Pistons’ Chauncey Billups fouled out after recording his second career triple-double with 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 24 points and Ben Wallace had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Like Rasheed Wallace, Tracy McGrady hopes to finish Sunday’s game.
McGrady was booted from Friday’s 102-98 win over Denver after twice kicking the ball into the stands.
Orlando, which was 0-8 this season when McGrady played less than 30 minutes, showed the same resiliency as the ball that rocketed off McGrady’s foot.
“I guess it got us hyped up and amped up to go out there and play,” said Drew Gooden, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
On a night when he reached 10,000 career points, McGrady finished with 15— his lowest total since going scoreless on Dec. 19 when he hurt his back in the first quarter.
“I could care less about 10,000 points,” said McGrady, the second-youngest player to reach the milestone. “I was frustrated, so I had to get us going some way, whether it was getting a tech, getting ejected, kicking balls out of the arena. It didn’t matter.”
STANDINGS (through Feb. 20): Magic - 7th place, 20 GB, Atlantic Division. Pistons - 2nd place, 7 GB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Magic - McGrady, 27.6 ppg and 5.5 apg; Penigar, 8.0 rpg. Pistons - Hamilton, 18.1 ppg; B. Wallace, 13.2 rpg; Billups, 5.2 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Pistons, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 1; Pistons, 96-85. At Orlando, Fla., Hamilton scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Billups added 17 to lead the Pistons. McGrady scored 18 of his 31 points in the third quarter to keep the Magic close, but shot 0-for-7 in the fourth period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Magic - 7-23 on the road; Pistons - 20-9 at home.
INJURIES: Magic - C Rooks (ankle); C Andrew DeClercq (knee); F Grant Hill (ankle); F Britton Johnson (knee); F Pat Garrity (knee); F Monty Williams (knee). Pistons - F Tremaine Fowlkes (back); G Lindsey Hunter (knee).