NBA's Ben Wallace Dodges Jail for DUI and Gun Rap

By Adam K. Raymond 12/13/11
The Detroit Piston's suspended sentence raises eyebrows.
Ben Wallace: lucky escape Photo via

As Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace sat in an Oakland County courtroom this morning, prosecutors told the judge they wanted to treat him "as if his name was Ben Smith." Arrested in September for driving drunk and carrying a concealed weapon, 37-year-old Wallace was facing up to 93 days in jail. Instead, he was sentenced to a year of probation and 30 hours of community service. Ben Smith? Hardly. News reports say Wallace's lenient sentence was a result of "his cooperation with prosecutors and decision not to fight the charges." But the lack of jail time stands in stark contrast to what happened to former NBA star Jalen Rose, who got 92 days in jail for drunk driving in the very same Detroit suburb last July (72 days were suspended). The lesson? If you're driving drunk in Bloomfield Hill, Michigan and don't want jail time, make sure you're carrying a gun.

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Adam K. Raymond covers politics and sports for New York Magazine. Visit Adam's website and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.