"I left the Forum and drove off in my Rolls that night thinking one thought - that [Paul] Westhead must die." - Spencer Haywood, reflecting on the day he hired the Mafia to put a hit on his head coach. (Really.)
Only two teams this summer have used their Bi-Annual Exceptions so far. Milwaukee used theirs on ShamSports.com favourite Keyon Dooling, while Detroit used theirs to re-sign Ben Wallace (whose lack of effort during his time with the Bulls has permanently sullied any affection I once had for him). However, while Milwaukee used their BAE because they'd spent their MLE on Drew Gooden, Detroit used their BAE while their MLE sits there untouched. That MLE is probably going to stay untouched all summer, because they've certainly shown no inclination to use it thus far, and http://www.shamsports.com/2010/07/the-best-of-what-left.htmlall the MLE calibre free agents have gone. They could have used it on Wallace so that they could carry over their BAE; they should have used it on Wallace so that they could carry over their BAE. But they didn't.
As was the case with Washington, this might turn out to be completely insignificant. But what if it isn't? What was the point of that?
The no-headband rule was instituted by John Paxson circa 2004, after Bulls bench player Eddie Robinson was repeatedly seen in practice wearing his headband around his neck. To Paxson, this presented an unnecessary choke hazard, and when Robinson petulantly refused to do anything about it, Paxson felt he had to ban headbands altogether, for that was the only way to get Robinson to stop.
The rule wasn't a big deal until Ben Wallace, upping the petulance stakes a little, made it so. Wallace snuck a headband onto the court for the start of an otherwise forgettable regular season game, and when Scott Skiles noticed this, he had little choice but to bench him. Wallace was put back into the starting lineup for the second half of the same game, yet again he had smuggled out a headband, and took the court wearing it. Once again, he was benched, and the scandal of Headbandgate ensued.29 It was a completely unnecessary blight upon the franchise brought about by players being children, and the hierarchy - whose hands were tied - were made to look ridiculous purely for enforcing rules they didn't want to have even created. It was a bad time.
The particularly galling part of it all is that, while Ben Wallace has long been synonymous with wearing a headband, particularly when he had his big fro, there have been many, many, many, many games in which he has not worn one, by choice. It does not take much Googling to find pictures that evidence this. Here's one.Here's another. Et cetera. Ben needlessly brought up, broke, and eventually won an exception to, a rule that was not a particularly big deal to anyone, not even to him.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.