Andre Iguodala was in Lake Tahoe last weekend for a celebrity golf tournament that attracted all sorts of iconic sports personalities and ended up on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz. Naturally, there was talk about Iguodala's championship season with the Golden State Warriors and eventually discussion turned to the 2004 Detroit Pistons, the only team in history to have won a title without a member of the NBA Top 75 players list.
There must've been something about that high altitude that inspires takes of the tallest order because Iguodala proceeded to claim that Rasheed Wallace, a key part of that 2004 title squad, would be as good as Giannis Antetokounmpo if he played in today's game.
"Rasheed Wallace probably could have been a top-five player in the league for a 10-year stretch. He was shooting half-court shots left-handed and right-handed. If Rasheed Wallace played in modern-day basketball, if he played in our league today, he’d be a top-five player in the league. He’d be better than Giannis, and I love Giannis."
The conversation then moved on without taking a single moment to digest that Iguodala essentially stated Rasheed Wallace would be the best player in the world if he played in 2022.
That's insane. Obviously. Wallace was a great player and definitely would have benefitted from the downsized, spaced-out game that we know today. But it's also not like he was this ancient legend from the '60s that a third of the current viewing population saw play. Wallace retired nine years ago! That's recent enough for us to find a high-quality picture of him in the Getty database to use for this article. He was a member of the New York Knicks team that Stephen Curry torched for 54 points at Madison Square Garden. We aren't talking about Bob Cousy here.
Wallace is the ideal player for this era and there were probably some hidden talents left buried by the slow, grinding pace that dominated the league when he got drafted. But he'd be better than Giannis if you dropped into today's NBA? Let's pump the brakes a little.