Q&A With Ben Wallace:
Q. What makes a great rebounder?
A: A guy who is aware where he is on the floor, aware when shots are being taken. After that, it takes hard work and determination.
Q. How important is jumping ability when it comes to rebounding?
A: You can use your athletic ability to get some rebounds, and some rebounds you use positioning. You can jump as high as you want, and you can be in the best position, but if you don't have the heart and desire to go after the ball and attack the ball, you probably won't get as many rebounds as you should.
Q. Which players give you the most trouble on the boards?
A: There are a couple of guys. Charles Oakley is one of them, because he's done it so many times. He knows all the tricks of the trade. Brian Grant is tough to rebound against. You have Kevin Garnett, who is long. He depends on his length to help him. Anybody who is active, it's tough to get a body on them and block them out.
Q. What is your mind-set when a shot is taken?
A: I feel like I'm going to get every rebound. If I don't get the ball, I feel I'm going to get my hand on it. If I can't get my hand on it, I'm going to be as close as I possibly can get to it. I'm definitely going to attack the boards when the shot goes up.
Q. How did you develop into the top rebounder in the NBA?
A: A lot of people told me I couldn't do it because of my size — I wasn't big enough, I wasn't tall enough, I wasn't strong enough. I was determined to prove those people wrong. I used that as motivation. Every time somebody tells me I can't do something, I try to go out, show them I can do that plus a little bit more. I had to prove it to them and prove it to myself.
Q. As a rebounder, what gives you the most satisfaction?
A: I'm satisfied any time I can get the rebound and get my team off on a fast break that leads to an easy bucket. Or if I can get an offensive rebound, kick it out, and we knock down a shot that sort of lets the air of the defense.
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