He was big, he was strong, and he was undrafted. But most importantly, Ben Wallace was motivated. Big Ben earned his keep on defense, the immoveable object standing his ground against the likes of Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and Dwight Howard. Wallace earned Defensive Player of the Year honors four times during his career, tied for the most all time with Dikembe Mutombo. A Division II First Team All-America at Virginia Union, he was named All-Defensive First Team in the NBA on five occasions. The Detroit Pistons won the 2004 NBA championship with Wallace anchoring the defense against a Shaq-led Los Angeles Lakers squad. The matchup in the paint was one for the ages. Wallace paired quickness and footwork with power and great hands to make him a disruptor anywhere and everywhere on the hardwood. A four-time NBA All-Star, he led the league in total rebounds in 2001 and 2003, rebounds per game in 2002 and 2003, and blocked shots in 2002.
BornSeptember 10, 1974 White Hall, AL
CollegeVirginia Union University
Professional CareerChicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Detroit Pistons Orlando Magic Washington Bullets
PLAYER OF THE YEAR