Gerald Wallace again calls out his team for effort

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The one guy that gives full effort all the time is wondering why everyone else doesn't.

Last week, Gerald Wallace complained about the team's effort in a loss to the Sixers.  Here's what he said at the time.

masslive.com

"We just have to get everybody playing with the same effort," he told reporters. "We didn't start the game playing with effort, we didn't start the game playing together. We were five individuals out there playing against a Philadelphia team, they jumped on us quick. They ran the ball right down our throats. We started looking at one another, trying to figure out what was going on. And the whole time they were just continuing to run at us, just attack us."

That's pretty standard veteran leadership stuff.  If you don't see full effort, even in preseason, you call the guys out and everyone pulls themselves up by the bootstraps and gives a better effort next time.  It worked against the Knicks reserves.

Fast forward to tonight and Wallace is unloading on his teammates for their effort again.  Except this time the message has a little more sting.

Calling the guys "selfish" is pretty telling.  Maybe he's right about that too, though it seems a bit jarring coming from him through the media.  I wonder how much he's addressed this with his teammates.

Wallace was nowhere to be found this offseason - which is his right, he can do what he wants with his time.  But I wonder if he's built up enough respect from the guys to deliver this kind of message publicly.

Then again, if Wallace doesn't do it, who will?  Rondo isn't playing yet and Jeff Green is too ...um, nice, to do it (besides probably being one of the culprits).  One thing Gerald Wallace does provide is full effort every night.  Much like Kevin Garnett did before him.  So if anyone on the team has the ability to look around the room and call people out, it would be Gerald.

To be clear, there's a very real difference between not being good enough and not trying hard enough.  A team that's not good enough can't simply mail it in when the chips are down.  There's no growth that way.  Wallace appears to be trying to set the tone early.

Hopefully the message will be well received and provide the right kind of motivation.  Otherwise it could be a long year for Gerald and the rest of us.

This is a good early test for Brad Stevens.  Can he use this in a positive way?  Can he keep the locker room for becoming divided before the season even gets underway?  It will be interesting how the whole teams responds.

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