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Sports

October 29, 2009

Wild about Wallace: Rasheed a perfect fit for C's

BOSTON — It was opening night for "The Rasheed Wallace Show" here at the TD Garden last night.

And it was much more entertaining and enlightening than the main event, a 92-59 drubbing by the Boston Celtics over the helpless Charlotte Bobcats.

If your image of the veteran Wallace was anything like mine — after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals in May 2008, he told me "Get out of my face! I said, 'Get out of my face!'" — you're in for the surprise.

Wallace is a Boston Celtic.

He's not just an important cog. He's JoJo White. He's Dave Cowens. He's John Havlicek. He's Kevin McHale. He's Robert Parish. He's every Celtic who cared only about one thing.

"The stats don't matter," said Wallace, who tallied nine points and five rebounds in a paltry 16 minutes. "The win. That's all the matters."

Wallace, though, is a little different than the aforementioned ex-Celtics. He's got personality.

If he's not hugging somebody, including a referee (I saw it!), he's pointing at somebody on the opposing bench making some friendly threat.

When the scoreboard showed the Phillies were leading the Yankees, 2-0, through six innings, Wallace walked over to a Yankees-loving teammate on the bench to rub it in.

"I'm a life-long Phillies fan," said Wallace, a graduate of Simon Gratz High in the City of Brotherly Love. "You bet I'm proud."

It isn't often a guy can walk into a Celtics locker room, without ever having worn the green jersey, and make claims that his new team might be the best ever.

Wallace said it and got away with it.

He has only been a Celtic for two games, but it might as well be two years or even two decades.

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