It wasn’t just the $60 million folks. The key to bringing Ben Wallace to Chicago was in making him comfortable. From USA Today’s Rick “Don’t Call Me Gordon” Gano.
Chicago Bulls general manager John Paxson and coach Scott Skiles were dressed down and casual when they went to Detroit earlier this month with a sales pitch for Ben Wallace.
They wanted to make Wallace feel comfortable and open his eyes before opening up the checkbook.
“We didn’t go in there in tuxes or anything. We went in there in jeans,” Paxson said. “That’s who we are, we tried to show him that’s what we are about. You try to sell yourself in the way you are and hopefully it works.”
It worked. Wallace was impressed enough during the meeting with what Paxson and Skiles had to say about their young basketball team, the direction it was heading and the role he would play. A big contract didn’t hurt their position, either.
“I wasn’t going to leave Detroit to go to a team that wasn’t going to be a contender,” Wallace said Thursday when he signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Bulls.
“Just the fact they came to Detroit and were willing to come to my house and sit down and talk to me says a lot.”
“It’s definitely taking the rivalry to another level. Chicago and Detroit have always been great rivals,” Wallace said. “I think everybody should get some popcorn and sit there and watch it.”
There’s still no one who can match the Insane Clown Posse out of Chicago, however.
Isiah Thomas, in one of his rare moments of fiscal sanity, might not invest $7 million in a 3rd string center, the middle man in this case being Jackie Butler. The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reports Butler is close to signing with San Antonio.