Charlotte Hornets should retire Gerald Wallace’s jersey

Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets Gerald Wallace. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets Gerald Wallace. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

In the most recent mailbag, lifelong Charlotte Hornets fan, Zac Fleming posed the question about getting Gerald Wallace’s jersey retired. The question was one of several that were asked and answered on the mailbag, but it certainly created the most intrigue out of all the post’s queries. Apparently, Fleming had been trying to get this idea off the ground for some time, and he certainly wasn’t the only one interested in seeing the legendary Charlotte Bobcat immortalized.

Gerald Wallace was really one of a kind. He was never the greatest shooter or scorer on the team, yet he made an All-star game. In fact, he was the only All-Star from that dark period of professional Charlotte basketball. His game wasn’t particularly flashy (you don’t get a nickname like “Crash” because your game is particularly aesthetically pleasing), but he has been a fan favorite from the fan base for years—despite not having played in Charlotte in over a decade.

Wallace was a special player. The type of guy that “does all the little things”. He was named to an All-defensive team and remains one of only three players to average two or more blocks and steals per game for a season. He was athletic, but he used that for more than rim-rattling dunks, although he had his share of those as well. He used it to dive on floors and shoot gaps to intercept passes and challenge shots as a help defender.

He played with ferocity. He played with a controlled chaos that he brought to the floor with him every night. And he did it for a franchise that was frequently laughably bad. To keep that sort of intensity over the course of 82 games is difficult enough without playing for a struggling expansion team. But he took his opportunity seriously. He only started nine games through his first three seasons in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings. And he played like a hungry player for the remainder of his career.

Given his unique set of skills and how he applied them, it’s no wonder that several years later fans are asking him to be honored. And he should be. Sign this petition to keep this momentum going and remind the Charlotte Hornets just how special Gerald Wallace was to the franchise and the fans.