Please stand for BDL's pledge of allegiance, administered by Patron Saint/Sergeant at Arms Rasheed Wallace of the New York Knicks during a first-quarter trip to the foul line by New Orleans Hornets rookie Austin Rivers on Tuesday night:
Thank you. You may be seated.
I mean, like the rest of you, I enjoyed "YEAH, AFLAC!" an awful lot, but it just wasn't quite the same. So it was pretty great to see — or, more to the point, hear — the old-school flavor pumping through my speakers loud and clear after that first-quarter reach-in. Once again, back is the incredible. Just warms your heart, y'know?
While just hearing those three magic words alone would've been plenty for me, the fact that Sheed backed it up by reasserting his First Amendment right to free speech — "I CAN YELL! I CAN YELL ALL I WANT!" — really pushed this to another level. Plus, his emphasis on making sure it didn't put him in danger of a technical foul by bellowing at the referee, "I AIN'T DIRECTING IT AT YOU OR NOBODY ELSE!" shows the kind of savvy, calmed-down leadership that our own Eric Adelson recently wrote about Wallace bringing to the Knicks' locker room. Real smooth veteran leadership. Or, if I may, "Sheedership." OK, you're right, maybe not.
The early exclamation was probably the highlight of Wallace's night — unless you count a fourth-quarter banker from the right block on which Sheed called glass as he elevated over Hornets center Robin Lopez, evoking his preseason promise to "show y'all how post players really need to play" during his surprising comeback with the Knicks, which was also pretty good, but not as good as this.
Sheed finished with six points and seven rebounds in 18 1/2 minutes of play during New York's comfortable 102-80 blowout win over the Hornets in New Orleans. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 29 points on 12-for-22 shooting for the Knicks, who improved to 8-1 and, as NBA.com's Jeff Caplan said, kept all of their rotation regulars under 30 minutes of playing time ahead of Wednesday night's trip to American Airlines Center for the back end of a back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks.
It wasn't all yelling and calling bank for Wallace, though, as Seth Rosenthal of Knicks blog Posting and Toasting noted:
After Rasheed Wallace airballed a lefty hook shot, Clyde gave him an on-air talking to: "He's gotta can that left hand." Disobey Clyde at your own peril, Rasheed.
I second that emotion. After all, that Clyde, like that ball, don't lie.