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Gerald Wallace and missed opportunities for Charlotte

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Reflecting on the play of Gerald Wallace during his monster 2009-2010 year.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Gerald Wallace will always be one of my favorite NBA players. As he wastes a way in Tankadelphia I decided it would be fun to reflect on the good times.  It was easy to appreciate the way Gerald Wallace hustled and moved around the court with purpose and frenetic energy at the same time. He played like he was shot out of a cannonball and as a fan it was so much fun to watch.

The season really took off when the Bobcats traded defensive specialist and stretch four, Raja Bell, for Stephen Jackson and Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors. The trade for Jackson took part of the burden off of Gerald Wallace and allowed him to focus more on defense. As a result, he anchored the Bobcat's to a number one defense that season, and was ranked third in defensive rating behind Andrew Bogut and Dwight Howard. According to defensive win shares, Gerald Wallace was the best defensive player in the league outside of the previously mentioned Howard. He was arguably the best rebounding wing player at an absurd 10 rebounds per game, and even rebounded better than Tyson Chandler. This incredible season led to his first and only selection as an NBA All-Star.

Unfortunately, the party ended for the Bobcats when they ran into the Dwight Howard led Magic and lost in four games. Shortly after Wallace's time with Charlotte ended as he, along with Tyson Chandler, and Stephen Jackson were eventually traded.

At least we'll always have the ridiculous Youtube mixes.

It would have been fun to see those Bobcats play in a small ball system so that Gerald Wallace could play at center and unlock his small ball potential. Parts of his game are reminiscent of Draymond Green with their similar size and excellent defensive ability, but alas the past can not be changed. We can only look back and appreciate Gerald Wallace for his hustle, ability, and live or die style of play.