- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Both Shaquille O'Neal and Rasheed Wallace were in Orlando this weekend to support their mothers in a charity basketball game between NBA moms and NFL moms. Before the game, O'Neal became the latest member of the Celtics organization to lobby for Wallace to return next season, telling WFTV that he knew Wallace was pondering a return, then looking into the camera and saying, "Rasheed, go on and come back for one or two more years." (Check out the video above from CSNNE.com).
Earlier this offseason, both Jermaine O'Neal and Paul Pierce suggested they would also lobby Wallace to return, but Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has consistently stated its his belief that Wallace plans to walk away.
If Wallace does plan to retire, the Celtics could move his contract to a team in need of salary cap or luxury tax relief, and net a player in return. If Wallace returns, it would create a bit of a frontcourt logjam, particularly when Kendrick Perkins comes back from offseason knee surgery, but having a surplus of All-Star-caliber big men seems like an excellent problem for a championship contender to have (especially for a team that struggled on the glass last season like Boston did).
In the same interview, O'Neal talked about every person on a championship team sacrificing something and being ready to accept an assignment as a role player. If all of Boston's big are willing to swallow a bit of statistical pride, the Celtics could wind up with the most imposing frontcourt in the NBA.
In Saturday's charity game, Ray Allen's mother, Flo, won MVP for the victorious NBA moms, while Wallace's mom got (playfully) ejected after picking up two technical fouls, yet again proving that the tree doesn't fall far from the oranges.