Rivers not surprised by 'Sheed's return

September, 30, 2012
9/30/12
3:34
PM ET
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe Celtics could see Rasheed Wallace again soon ... in a New York Knicks uniform.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- With Rasheed Wallace ready to come out of retirement in hopes of joining the New York Knicks, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he wasn't particularly surprised by the 38-year-old's decision to return to the NBA.

"I saw him at a couple games last year -- college games [because] he’s up in North Carolina a lot -- and when we talked he was definitely throwing feelers out about playing, even last year," said Rivers, who crossed paths with Wallace at Duke games while watching his son, Austin. "I’m not surprised that he made the comeback. I was surprised he retired to begin with. I thought he had more to give. I think when you play that long, you get tired of the conditioning. You get tired of the practice. And guys like that would love to just play in the games. So he probably needed that break, and now he’s working out again, and probably refreshed."

Wallace spent the 2009-10 season with the Celtics and aided (at times) the team's run to Game 7 of the NBA Finals before falling short against the Los Angeles Lakers. Wallace retired soon after, facilitating a buyout on the two years remaining of his contract with Boston.

Invariably, whenever Boston ran into the need for a serviceable big man over the last two seasons, Wallace's name popped up. Rivers hinted the team might have considered him during the 2010-11 campaign, but he was not on the radar last season -- though he might have been if he had been in shape.

"Not last year, he wasn’t in the condition that he could help us," said Rivers. "If he had been, we would have definitely looked at him. He was good for us."

According to our friends at ESPN New York, Wallace has not yet signed a deal with the Knicks, according to a team source. But the Knicks expect him at training camp when it opens this week.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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