Interviews and conferences with NBA players are such a common occurrence for the players that they sometimes get fed up with answering questions, get bored and don’t pay attention or if they don’t like the question get angry. Today one of the best examples is Russell Westbrook, but back in the day, there was another player.
Rasheed Wallace retired a few years ago but is still remembered as one of the most prominent characters and loudest mouths in the history of the NBA.
He was also a great player, but everybody mostly heard about his quotes and most important technicals, as he was no stranger to arguments with the referees which led him to break all kind of records regarding the number of his technical fouls.
A character and talent like that was a perfect fit for a team like early 2000’s Portland Trail Blazers or as they were known “Jail Blazers.” A team consisted of Scottie Pippen, Steve Smith, Damon Stoudamire, Ruben Patterson, Bonzi Wells and more was a collective of talent and trouble on and off the court.
Rasheed had a lot of memorable moments with that team, but one of the most famous came after his Trail Blazers won Game 4 in their 2003 first-round series against the Mavericks to fight off elimination.
At this point, Portland was in a hole down 3-1 and needed a miracle to come back. Rasheed was obviously fed up with losing and not in the mood for questions. In the press conference after Game 4, he decided to answer every question with one simple statement: “Both teams played hard my man.”
The reports were confused at the time but rolled with it as Rasheed finished the conference just saying the same six words. As he said years later, he was just frustrated with losing at the time and in a sort of a beef with the media as they were continually portraying him and his teammates in a bad way.
It may be started a spark in Portland, as they went on to win games 5 and 6 also to force a Game 7. They would even enter the 4thquarter with a 2-point lead but then fell apart as Dallas won the game and the series.
The possibly greatest NBA comeback ever just came up a bit short as a great story couldn’t, unfortunately, get finished.