For which team is Big Ben's bell tolling?

Updated: July 6, 2006, 2:14 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
"Now, this bell tolling softly for another, says to me: Thou must die." -- John Donne, 1642

Ben Wallace was the heart of a champion.

The 'fro of the franchise.

In this moment of franchise tragedy, Pistons fans are asking the obvious question: How could this happen?

The engine that churned the six collective Pistons into an NBA champion.

On Monday, Big Ben tolled one last time for the Pistons. His agent, Arn Tellem, called Pistons president Joe Dumars to deliver the bad news: Wallace had decided to collect a bigger paycheck from the Chicago Bulls.

We now recognize a moment of silence so Pistons fans can mourn.

In this moment of franchise tragedy, Pistons fans are asking the obvious question: How could this happen?

Wasn't Wallace a lock to re-sign with the Pistons five months ago? Didn't the Pistons trade Darko Milicic, in part, to free up cap space to re-sign Wallace?

Wasn't this starting five like family, a family that could never be broken up?

Five months ago, the answers all seemed to be pointing firmly toward "yes."


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Chad Ford | email

Senior Writer, NBA Insider

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