NBA in the early 2000s saw the dominance of the Los Angeles Lakers. With the team winning three championships in a row, the Purple and Gold looked unstoppable. While the 2003 playoffs were a blip on their radar, the Lakers looked ready to win it all in the 2004 Finals. Coming back with a stacked roster of players like Karl Malone and Gary Payton alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers were clear favorites in the Finals.
But the Detroit Pistons had other plans. With a gritty defense, the Pistons dominated the Lakers and swept them. Perhaps one of the most important players in the Pistons was Ben Wallace. Going undrafted in the 1996 draft class, the center eventually joined the Pistons. The 6'9" center established himself as one of the top defensive players in the league.
Entering the 2003-04 season, Wallace was a 2-time DPOY winner. Given how the center won multiple DPOY trophies and made an All-Star appearance, the center had become a household name for multiple NBA fans. But the 2004 All-Star voting certainly shocked many.
Although Wallace was not one of the biggest superstars in the game, the center surprisingly overtook multiple superstar talents like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and even Kevin Garnett to become the 2nd most voted All-Star in 2004 All-Star game.
With a whopping 1,982,251 votes for Wallace, the center only trailed Vince Carter only by 145,000 votes in the All-Star voting. This was certainly surprising to see. Given that players like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant were at the peak of their powers.
Regardless, Wallace had an excellent 2003-04 season. Not only did he make the All-Star game, but he also won his first NBA championship with the Pistons. The 6'9" center might not have been the most exciting player to watch, but the 4-time DPOY certainly left an impact on Detroit and the NBA as well.