Rasheed Wallace, a Boston Celtic.
Has it really soaked in yet? A little hard to decipher at first, isn't it?
Are you having a problem with the anger management issues? Or the anti-establishment persona? Or the fact he has been called for more than 3,000 personal fouls yet has complained about nearly every one of them?
Or is his antagonistic relationship with us know-it-alls in the media got you wondering?
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers laughs when asked about Wallace's "issues."
"Oh yes, he'll hate you guys, that won't change," said Rivers, referring to the short, chunky, non-athletic types holding notebooks and tape recorders. "And neither will his attitude toward officials. That's just who he is."
Then came the "but," a really big "but."
"But he's a winner and his teammates love him," said Rivers. "He doesn't care about statistics. He only cares about winning. He's also very coachable."
OK. Now that sounds like a Celtic.
This was a very important move for the Celtics. They full-court pressed Wallace unlike any free agent before. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, President Danny Ainge and Rivers met with Wallace and were followed by a visit from the Big Three — Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
The Wallace deal shows that the Celtics mean business. Now.
Wallace is their answer, especially on defense, for Dwight Howard in Orlando and Shaquille O'Neal in Cleveland. When starting center Kendrick Perkins takes a breather, Howard and O'Neal will get no break.
He signed for two years, at the full mid-level exception (teams over the salary cap can sign a veteran for up to $5.8 million per season), which is a year after Allen's contract expires and the same time Pierce's contract expires.
And with the Celtics' decision to let Leon Powe become a free agent without compensation, and the uncertain future of Glen "Big Baby" Davis, their Modus Operandi is obvious — win now or bust.
"Since we acquired Kevin and Ray, that's been our goal; it was our goal this (past) season," said Rivers. "We just got killed with injuries. So nothing has really changed."
The landscape has really changed at the top.
The Los Angeles Lakers won the championship and, before the champagne dried on their Larry Brown Trophy, they traded for Ron Artest.
The Magic won the Eastern Conference and traded for Vince Carter.
The three-time champion San Antonio Spurs, who never overcame the injury to Manu Ginobili, traded for all-star Richard Jefferson.
The point is that the Celtics, even if healthy, had to do something big, and this is big.
Despite the Celtics-Pride-like qualities, Wallace comes with baggage that can't be ignored.
He says what he thinks all too often. In April, he was quoted as saying the "NBA wants LeBron James in the finals" and inferred that the league was doing everything in its power to ensure it.
In 1,009 regular season games he has received 296 technical fouls, which basically means he gets a technical in 30 percent of the games he has played. He's also been ejected 24 times (two technicals in the same game).
He was also fined $25,000 during the playoff series with the Celtics, complaining about the officials and the fact that those "cats are flopping all over the floor and they're calling that [expletive]."
What he has going for him is that two important people have put their sign of approval on Wallace.
Garnett, who is probably the only person in the NBA who Wallace fears, has befriended the enigmatic star for most of his career. If Garnett is in your corner, you can be sure he will follow up on the new Celtic like a brother.
The other is Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown, who Rivers probably respects most of any coach in the league. Brown made the controversial acquisition of Wallace — both were University of North Carolina grads — in 2003 when he was coaching the Detroit Pistons. Many people thought Wallace was uncoachable, which Brown proved wrong.
They won a championship together that first year and then went to the finals again the season after.
In case you haven't noticed, every game the Celtics have played against the Pistons the last two years, much to the chagrin of Detroit fans and media, Wallace has gone out of his way to hug both Rivers and Garnett before leaving the floor.
"Larry is Rasheed's biggest supporter," said Rivers. "I trust Larry's opinion on a lot of things. He says that Rasheed is a winner and a great teammate."
Wallace, who turns 35 on Sept. 17, has averaged 12 points and seven rebounds over the last three seasons. With the Celtics, 10 points and five rebounds would probably more than suffice. He played 32 minutes a game last year, that will probably drop to 25, saving his best hopefully for last.
What he brings most, though, besides his big 6-foo-10 frame is big-time playoff experience for the second unit, which disappeared when James Posey left last season for New Orleans. He also, like Posey, has the inside-outside game that isn't easy to cover. Wallace attempted nearly five 3-point shots per game in 2008-09.
"I've gotten to know Rasheed over the years and I really like him," said Rivers. "He really is a good guy. He works hard in practice ... He's a professional."
And now he's a Celtic.
E-mail Bill Burt at firstname.lastname@example.org.