Rasheed Wallace explains why he’d take 7 NBA titles over $300M

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

For 2004 NBA champion Rasheed Wallace, it’s all about rings and less about money.

Asked to choose between two hypothetical options — $300 million with no championship rings or $54 million with seven championship rings — Wallace picked the latter.

“I had this conversation one day in a locker room when I was coaching,” he said. “It was me, Chauncey [Billups], my young fella Peyton Siva and my other young fella Josh Smith. We had this same conversation. I can’t tell you everything that was said in it, but short story, no, for me, I gotta get that ring. … The bread, the bread is gon’ come with the ring. The bread’s gon’ come with the ring long term.

“Now, it might not be — it might not amount to as much. So, let’s say, as you mentioned for example, the $300 million contract, right? Okay, I might not be able to make $300 million in that seven, eight, nine years — or however long that contract is — again, but I’m immortalized, though, yo. I’m in this motherf—— HOF, which, I don’t wanna be — f— it — but I’m in there.

“To me, that’s why I came into the league. … I came into the NBA to win a chip, to win at least one, and I was blessed enough to make three, but I got the one, and s—, lemme tell you, you’re immortalized forever because you’re immortalized in that city forever. They always gon’ know you.”

Wallace added that roughly two decades after he helped the Detroit Pistons win the 2004 NBA title, folks in the city still show him love whenever he’s around.

The four-time All-Star played a key role for the Pistons during their run to that championship, as he started in 23 games during the playoffs while averaging 13.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest.

As he explained, he made the NBA Finals three times in total during his career, with the other two trips coming in 2005 and 2010. His Pistons came up short in 2005, and his Boston Celtics came up short in 2010, but he’ll always be able to look back on the 2004 NBA Finals and know that he helped a city reach the top of the basketball world.

Hypotheticals in which folks are asked to choose between money or championship rings have been brought up somewhat frequently lately, and each side of the debate seems to have supporters. But for Wallace, winning it all is the ultimate goal, and that’s certainly the case for many others as well.

It’s worth noting that as it was, Wallace made a lot of money during his NBA career, totaling over $150 million in salary. He was able to do all that while also winning a title.

Only eight players in NBA history have won seven or more rings, so anyone willing to walk away from $300 million in order to become a seven-time champion would be joining a very exclusive club of winners.

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