Former Wizards big man Ben Wallace considered for basketball Hall of Fame

Former Detroit Pistons player Ben Wallace addresses the media before an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Tonight, Wallace will become the eighth Pistons player to have his number retired. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

WASHINGTON — Ben Wallace, who played for the Washington Bullets and Washington Wizards for three seasons starting in 1996, was named a finalist for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Wallace, a power forward and center, went on to be a key part of the Detroit Pistons teams that twice made the NBA Finals, winning once in 2004. At 6 feet, 9 inches and 240 lbs., he was a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Wallace is among the 13 finalists for the Class of 2019. Inductees will be announced during the NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis this spring.

In addition to the local NBA team, which changed its name from the Bullets to the Wizards after Wallace’s first NBA season, “Big Ben” played for the Pistons, the Orlando Magic, the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a member of the NBA All-Defensive Team five times in a row starting in 2002, even though he started his career undrafted after leaving Virginia Union University in Richmond.

Chris Webber, a star at the University of Michigan and during his NBA career, is also a finalist. Webber was a member of the Washington team for four seasons, and played with Wallace.

Those who are voted into the Hall will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, from Sept. 5-7.

The other finalists include:

Hugh Evans (Referee), Bill Fitch (Coach), Marques Johnson (Player), Bobby Jones (Player), Sidney Moncrief (Player), Jack Sikma (Player), Eddie Sutton (Coach), Chris Webber (Player), Paul Westphal (Player).

Leta Andrews (Coach) Barbara Stevens (Coach) Teresa Weatherspoon (Player)

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