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Ben Wallace continues to mentor young players

Since returning to the Pistons, Ben Wallace has been a positive influence on young players with the team. The latest example, via Keith Langlois at Pistons.com, is his work with Vernon Macklin:

Young big guys who ace the prerequisites – a thirst for learning and an eagerness to embrace hard work – get to attend the Ben Wallace Graduate School of Hard Knocks. Macklin sits in the front row.

“I can really say, out of everybody, he really talks to me a lot and he definitely has my back,” Macklin said. “I said to him one day, ‘I want to be like you, Big Dog.’ He said, ‘No, be like I used to be.’ This guy is really serious about this and he still loves the game, no matter how long he’s been in the league. If he sees a young guy working hard, he definitely pulls for you 110 percent.”

If the frontcourt continues to struggle as much as it did in the first game the season, Macklin will definitely get some minutes. Although it’s a longshot based on his draft position that he’ll ever develop into a rotation player, Wallace, an undersized, offensively challenged, undrafted big man from a small college is about the perfect player for Macklin to try and model his work ethic and passion for the game after.


  • Dec 27, 20116:44 pm
    by Jason


    Always good to hear Big Ben helping out some young guns.. Just a heads up, the Vernon Macklin link points to the Charlie Villanueva player page, with Macklin as the header..

    • Dec 27, 20116:48 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Sorry, should be fixed now.

    • Dec 27, 20118:13 pm
      by gmehl1977


      I am assuming CV failed the Ben Wallace Graduate School of Hard Knocks with honours in ‘not boxing out’, ‘not fighting for position’, ‘lack of hustle’ and every piston fans worst nightmare ‘lack of heart’.

  • Dec 27, 20117:11 pm
    by frankie d


    ben should always have a spot with the pistons. 
    hopefully, joe will wake up from his comatose state and bring a competent big man to town so that ben can play the 12-15 minutes a game he should be playing, rather than the 20+ he appears to be heading towards based on their current roster.  he would be great as a guy who comes in to cool off a rugged guy like david west, but if the team needs him to play 20+ minutes it will be a catastrophic season.  
    and after this year, he can settle in, decked out in a nice suit, with a clipboard, as an assistant coach.

  • Dec 27, 20118:08 pm
    by Ty


    Ben needs to teach these guys the thing called rebounding.  Even the guards, which I think our guards can rebound but tend to be lazy.  Ben is not going to grab 13 rebounds a game and he shouldn’t.  They need to learn that art before he goes, he is on of the hardest working hall of famers of our time.

  • Dec 27, 20118:09 pm
    by Ty


    And get Macklin in the rotation COACH!

  • Dec 27, 201111:49 pm
    by ryan


    Greg Monroe and Jonas Jeberko are the only two guys who should be playing ahead of Vernon Macklin. If we can get the young fella cracklin’ we’ll have a solid, if small threesome.

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