Rasheed Wallace has never been one to show restraint on the basketball court, which often gets him into trouble with officials.
Wallace has a long history of receiving technical fouls for arguing calls with officials. He picked up a record 38 technicals in 1999-2000 while with Portland, then topped that with 40 the next season. The volatile power forward owns four of the 10 highest single-season technical foul totals in NBA history.
On Friday, he earned his 16th technical of the season—which mandates a one-game suspension from the league and a $2,500 fine—in Detroit’s 95-82 win over Denver in the opener of a five-game road trip.
“It don’t matter to me,” Wallace said. “They think suspending me one game, I’m losing all this money and this and that. Money ain’t nothing to me for the simple fact I wasn’t born with it. Just as fast as you get money, you can lose money. Money’s not going to change my character, money’s not going to change the person I am.”
Wallace, who will draw a one-game suspension and another $2,500 fine for every additional technical he receives this season, didn’t seem too worried about his situation, nor did Pistons coach Flip Saunders.
“It’s no different than when he was hurt and sitting out, so he won’t play and we’ll put somebody in,” Saunders said. “We can put (Antonio) McDyess in there, we can put Max (Jason Maxiell) in there. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Wallace had 17 points and 10 rebounds Friday in just his second game back after missing three with a sore left foot. If the Pistons (38-22) play like they have lately on the road and against the Clippers, they won’t miss Wallace too much.
Detroit has won six of its last seven away from home and has been even better against Los Angeles, winning eight straight and 17 of 21 over the Clippers (29-32). The Pistons have won three in a row in Los Angeles and seven of the last 10 meetings there.
After winning four of five, the Clippers are enduring yet another slump, losing three of four with several tough games coming up. Los Angeles fell 99-89 to Golden State on Friday night and its hold on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference is slipping each day.
“They just seemed like a team that wanted it more than us in that first half,” Clippers forward Elton Brand said. “We have to play with confidence, play loose. We can’t put any added pressure on ourselves. We’re trying to catch the teams ahead of us with the teams behind us trying to make a charge. It’s a tight race.”
After hosting the Eastern Conference-leading Pistons, the Clippers play San Antonio and Houston to begin a six-game road trip next week.
“You have to bring it right now,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said.
All five starters scored in double figures for Detroit in its 92-74 win over the Clippers at home on Feb. 12. Los Angeles shot 32.4 percent from the field, its second-worst performance this season.