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July 7, 2009

Wallace deal means Celts mean business

Wallace deal means Celtics serious about winning Banner 18

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.

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