The year of the belt has officially ended. I just wanted to pay tribute to the brains behind the belt and the team that wore them.
Before Game 4 or even 5 last year, no one thought the Pistons would beat the Lakers. Big Ben was too small, Tayshaun too young, Chauncey too unproven, Rasheed too crazy, and Rip just not Kobe. But they came out together and fought for every last shot, rebound, loose ball, etc. They ultimately ended up overshadowing themselves because they not only beat the Dynasty, they dismantled it.
Rasheed Wallace proved himself as a player and a teammate. Instead of the "cancer" on a losing team, he became the final piece to a championship one. He may not have silenced all his critics - and part of the Sheed appeal is that he never will nor cares to - but he endeared himself to a whole new city of fans who will gladly deafen any haters with chants of "Sheeeeeeed."
It's only fitting that they be beaten by another team effort. They may have adopted the "we don't get any respect" mentality, but anyone who knows basketball - basically, anyone outside of LA - respected the hell out of them and we're going to miss the belts. Who knows - we may be seeing them again very soon.