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Former Pistons legend Ben Wallace invokes OG Black Panthers in powerful Hall of Fame speech

Ben Wallace, Pistons

Former Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame today, and he made sure his induction was one to be remembered.

Speaking towards the end of his induction speech, Wallace spoke about his legacy. (via NBA).

“I wasn’t welcome. I was too small. I couldn’t play the game they wanted me to play the game. Sounded like an uneven game to me. Put me on a level playing field, and I’ll show you.

Panthers March.”

https://twitter.com/NBA/status/1436855323034275842

The Black Panthers Party is a civil rights movement originally founded in the 1960s as a response to the rising police brutality against the black community. According to Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated, Wallace hailed from Lowndes County in Alabama, where the BPP was originally founded. It’s no wonder, then, that the Pistons legend feels a strong connection to this iconic party.

As for Wallace, the former Pistons ace had a pretty good weekend. With his induction into the draft (and approval from someone dear to him), Ben Wallace became the first undrafted player to be inducted into the Hall. That is a big achievement for a guy who was considered “too small” to play center.

Ben Wallace only averaged over 5 points per game in his entire career, but his biggest impact was on the defensive end. On defense, Big Ben was a terror for the Pistons, holding down the fort against guys like Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming despite standing only 6’7. Wallace was integral to many winning seasons in Detroit during the 2000s (including a championship over the Kobe-Shaq Lakers), and his efforts on defense garnered him four Defensive Player of the Year trophies, tied with Dikembe Mutombo for most in league history.

Pistons fans are surely happy that Big Ben is finally being recognized. And for Wallace, he made sure to shout out an important movement for him growing up.