Ben Wallace is a Hall of Famer, but his signature shoe belongs in the Hall of Shame.
The will ben wallace make the hall of fame is a question that has been on people’s minds for some time. Ben Wallace is a Hall of Famer, but his signature shoe belongs in the Hall of Shame.
Over the course of his 16-year NBA career, Ben Wallace created history. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year with the Detroit Pistons is the first player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame without being drafted. He’s also the first player in NBA history to have more thefts than turnovers and more blocks than fouls.
He may possibly have one of the ugliest trademark sneakers ever seen in the NBA.
As Wallace makes his way into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, memories of Big Ben’s shoes, which weren’t quite as cool and rugged as he was, resurface.
In 2007, Ben Wallace’s budget-friendly sneaker was launched.
Wallace inked a three-year, $46 million contract with the Chicago Bulls after a six-year stint with the Detroit Pistons that included four All-Star appearances and an NBA title. He became the first athlete endorser not named Stephon Marbury to join the Starbury label a year later when he unveiled a new signature sneaker under the Starbury label.
Wallace stated at the time of the announcement, “What Starbury is all about is trying to encourage kids to understand that quality shoes and clothing can be cheap and fashionable.” “That is critical, and I am excited to represent the Movement both on and off the court.”
The Starbury Big Ben shoes were only available at Steve & Barry’s, a retail apparel shop with over 270 locations in 39 states at the time. They were also among the most affordable basketball sneakers on the market, costing just $14.98.
Wallace’s shoes were a complete disaster.
For $14.98, you can’t go wrong with an NBA player’s trademark sneaker. Wallace, on the other hand, wore a pair of shoes that were not exactly the most attractive.
The Big Bens had a thick strap that went over the top and came in three distinct colors. The remainder of the shoe resembled a slipper, with a flimsy shell that belied the bargain pricing.
While the original Starbury shoes were initially successful, the Big Bens did not. For a shoe this inexpensive, margins were already slim, and Wallace wasn’t the sort of celebrity who would entice customers. Just over a year after the shoes were launched, Steve & Barry’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to low sales and a bad economy. All of their shops were closed by 2009, and the business had gone bankrupt, causing the Starbury line to be discontinued.
Wallace’s performance deteriorated when he began wearing his own sneakers.
During a timeout, Chicago Bulls #3 Ben Wallace watches from the bench. | Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Wallace had a strong first season in Chicago, averaging 6.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. Ben’s productivity dropped in 2007-08, his second season with the Bulls and the first time he wore his trademark sneaker.
With his new shoes, Wallace appeared in 50 games for the Bulls, averaging 5.1 points on 37.3 percent shooting, his lowest shooting % since his rookie season 11 years ago. In those games, he also averaged 8.8 rebounds, the first time he had less than 10 boards since the 1999-00 season with the Orlando Magic.
During the 2007-08 season, the Bulls traded Ben to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 3.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in 1.5 seasons with the Cavs. He returned to Detroit for the last three years of his career, shortly after Steve and Barry’s closed their doors, but the 35-year-old Wallace was no longer the player he had been.
Wallace’s career took a turn for the worst when the Big Ben shoes were released. It might have been the shoes, or it could have been his age. While the concept of a low-cost shoe was appealing at the time, maybe more durable footwear might have helped him extend his shoe line, as well as his career.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided contract numbers.
RELATED: Why is Ben Wallace a Hall of Famer in the NBA?
The ben wallace stats is a Hall of Famer, but his signature shoe belongs in the Hall of Shame.
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