Gerald Wallace does not hold many tender feelings toward the previous stops in his NBA career.
“I’ve got, like, four former teams,” Wallace said at practice earlier this week, before the Celtics played the Brooklyn Nets in a preseason game Tuesday. “So there ain’t no [added] motivation.”
Wallace especially does not feel all warm and fuzzy about his most recent former employer. He has recounted how he found out he was traded to the Celtics — from the TV on draft night while playing cards with his family — and still has not gotten so much as a “courtesy call” from the Nets.
He now wonders if his willingness to take accountability for his disappointing play last season made him an easy scapegoat last summer.
“[The Nets] have to point the finger at somebody, like I was the guy to take the blame,” Wallace told the New York Daily News. “And that was the reason I was traded.”
Wallace’s comments might be easily dismissed if he were the only one complaining about the way the Nets do business. MarShon Brooks wanted out of Brooklyn well before Nets general manager Billy King and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge ever discussed a trade, claiming that then-coach Avery Johnson criticized his defense without giving him any instruction on how to improve it.
In addition, owners around the league questioned Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov‘s business practices after forward Andrei Kirilenko turned down a $10.2 million contract with Minnesota to sign for two years and $6.5 million with Brooklyn. An NBA investigation cleared the Nets of wrongdoing, but with that in mind, Wallace’s remarks are another drip in a growing ocean of bad blood flowing toward the Nets.