In advance of today's NBA all-star game, I have written a long piece on first-time all-star Gerald Wallace and his background that you can read here.
Even at that length, I wasn't able to fit everything into the story that I wanted to. So here are 3 things that I didn't get into the story about Wallace, the only player who has been on the Charlotte Bobcats' roster since the beginning.
1) Wallace is fascinated by police work and thinks he would like to be a police detective when the NBA is over. He likely would pursue this dream in or around Childersburg, Ala., where he grew up and plans to return after his career ends.
2) Wallace's home game-day routine goes like this: Get up. Go to shoot-around. Come home. Take a nap. Wake up. Go to Chick-Fil-A. Get two sandwiches (no pickle). Come back home. Eat them in front of the TV while watching "Law and Order." Depart for arena.
3) Wallace is one of the few professional athletes in Charlotte to employ a full-time personal assistant. More of them should do so -- Jodi Hopkins, who fills this role, seems like money well-spent to me.
Hopkins makes sure Wallace gets everywhere he needs to go and takes care of everything he doesn't have time to do. "She makes it a lot easier for me to focus just on basketball," Wallace said. I owe a personal thanks to Hopkins as well for helping me track down so many of the people in Wallace's life -- I interviewed his wife, several of his best friends, his older brother Courtney Castleberry and his mother Alice Castleberry for this story.
Again, if you read the story here, you'll see how important Wallace's mother has been in his life. There have been other factors, too, but his mother -- now fighting bone cancer -- is No.1.