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Monday, November 27, 2006

Headbands and Headcases

Do you really want to be the person telling this man he can't wear a headband? (Do you really want to be the person telling this man he can't do anything he pleases?)

Usually, I'd want to take the player's side on any conflict involving something silly like headbands or knee socks or length-of-sideburns. But in the Ben Wallace vs. Scott Skiles controversy, there seems to be no shortage of blame to go around.

Apparently Wallace feels singled out because of Skiles' team rules about having ankles taped and other such trivialities. But the no-headband rule is the straw that broke Big Ben's back. As the AP story reports...

A source close to Wallace told The Tribune that the big man is annoyed by the headband rule because he wasn't informed about it until after he signed his four-year, $60 million contract with the Bulls.
Reading between the lines, Wallace's mouthpiece seems to be saying, "Ben would have turned down the contract if he'd known about this headband rule." I'd like to think it goes a little deeper than that. But then, I've never been so attached to a piece of headgear that I'd consider bailing on $15 million a year.

Luckily, I have experience dealing with cranky three-year-olds, so I know exactly how to talk to both of the combatants in this squabble.

Earth to Ben: You're getting paid $15 million a year for the next four years. No one forced you to take Chicago's money, and if you didn't consider what it would be like playing for Scott Skiles, that's your bad. Reason with the guy. Talk to his boss. But don't try to show him up during a game -- that's never going to work.

Memo to Scott: Ben Wallace is an NBA veteran, not a college kid still used to taking heat from Roy Williams or Jim Calhoun or Mike Krzyzewski. You might want to tone down the "little dictator" routine just a touch when dealing with Wallace and P.J. Brown. Besides -- your Bulls currently sit in thirteenth place in the Eastern Conference.

You have more important things to worry about.


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