By Ben Golliver
Watching Rasheed Wallace during his comeback with the Knicks is a constant struggle to determine whether or not he's engaged in an elaborate performance art routine where he plays up his own zaniest and most animated quirks for maximum comedic effect. Now that he's no longer a starter and has apparently been given coach Mike Woodson's blessing to do whatever he wants, Wallace has wasted no time in fully indulging the referee-arguing, trash-talking, and gesticulating tendencies he was famous for throughout a career that dates back to 1995.
A Sunday win over the Suns proved that point 10 times over. With a little more than one minute remaining in the first quarter, Wallace was called for a foul after hacking down hard on Suns forward Luis Scola during a drive to the hoop. Referee John Goble, apparently deeming the foul unnecessarily rough, then assessed a technical foul on top of the foul. Wallace looked around incredulous, barking at Goble and talking to referee Courtney Kirkland, before teammate Raymond Felton tried to coax him back into the flow of the game.
Suns guard Goran Dragic wound up missing the technical and Wallace, of course, had no choice but to scream "Ball don't lie!" at the top of his lungs while glaring in a full 360 degree pivot. That prompted a second technical foul, which led to a dramatic Wallace exit from the court, which saw him shouted his signature catchphrase again while pounding the air to underscore his argument. Knicks forward Steve Novak played bodyguard for a bit, heading off Wallace from taking another run at the official.
Wallace departed with zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks, zero steals, zero shot attempts, zero turnovers, one foul, two technical fouls and two "Ball Don't Lie's" in one minute of action. The Knicks went on to defeat the Suns 106-99 at Madison Square Garden. Video via YouTube user BasketInfos