Additional Reporting by Jordan Rogers
CHAPEL HILL – Former Carolina star and veteran forward Rasheed Wallace, 38, has retired from pro basketball for the second time — due to a foot injury he sustained last fall.
‘Sheed, making the announcement Wednesday, registered four All-Star appearances, played in three NBA Finals, and won one NBA title as a member of the 2004 Pistons.
Wallace averaged 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 1,109 total contests during his pro career, and is widely considered one of the greatest post defenders in NBA history.
The passionate and sometimes volatile player also led the league in technical fouls, setting the record for most technicals in a single season with 41 in 2000-01.
During his two-year career for the Heels under Dean Smith, Wallace and fellow future NBA player Jerry Stackhouse helped lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA Final Four in 1995. Wallace was also named second-team All-American that year.
Coach Smith famously flew to Philadelphia the day after winning the 1993 NCAA National Title to meet with Wallace and his family about coming to North Carolina.
Wallace was drafted 4th overall in the ’95 draft to the Washington Bullets, during an era when underclass defections to the NBA draft were very rare.
His first retirement came in June 2010 from the Boston Celtics.
Wallace then returned to the game to play for the New York Knicks in 2012. He competed in 21 games, but missed most of this season with a stress fracture in his left foot. He helped the Knicks’ to a 17-5 start, averaging 7.2 points and 4.4 rebounds off the bench—prior to the injury—and was considered by many analysts to be a big part of the Knicks recent resurgence.
Wallace also played for the Portland Trail Blazers, the Boston Celtics, and one game as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.