Rasheed Wallace retires, Knicks sign Earl Barron as replacement
The Knicks announced the retirement of veteran forward Rasheed Wallace, who has been sidelined since February with a foot injury, on Wednesday. Wallace's roster spot was filled by the signing of center Earl Barron, who will be playoff-eligible.
Wallace, 38, initially retired in 2010 before launching a comeback with the Knicks this season. Wallace averaged 7 points and 4 rebounds in 21 games before undergoing surgery on a bone fracture in his left foot back in February.
“Rasheed has given this team everything he had,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said in a statement. “He is a winner, true professional and leader on and off the court. Due to his injury, he will not be available to play for us during the playoffs. We owe this season’s success to veterans like Rasheed.”
Barron, 31, holds career averages of 4.9 points and 3.6 rebounds over seven seasons with the Heat, Knicks, Suns, Bucks, Blazers, Warriors and Wizards. He spent 11 games in Washington earlier this season before being released on Dec. 23. He is eligible for the postseason because he was waived by the Wizards before a Mar. 1 deadline.
The Knicks also released veteran forward Kurt Thomas, 40, last week. After a series of moves, the Knicks replaced Thomas with guard Quentin Richardson on Tuesday. Richardson is also playoff-eligible.
Wallace holds career averages of 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1 steal during a 14-year career with the Bullets, Blazers, Hawks, Pistons, Celtics and Knicks. He came out of retirement in October and was among the oldest players in the NBA this season. Known -- and beloved by many -- for his brash personality and comedic stylings, Wallace was ejected from a game back in December after repeatedly shouting his signature "Ball Don't Lie!" catchphrase to dispute a foul call. New York, 53-28, will enter the postseason as the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed after winning the franchise's first division title since 1994. The Knicks will face the No. 7 seed Celtics in the first round as they seek the franchise's first playoff-series victory since 2000.