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I promised to share with my readers occasional updates about people or issues that were once involved in controversial hair matters — nappy hair issues in particular. I refer to these updates as my “Whatever Nappened to . . . ." reports.

My first offering is about Chicago Bulls basketball player Ben Wallace, formerly known as “Fear the ‘Fro.” Wallace, once known as the NBA's "Most Valuable Defensive Player," and also known for his wild and wooly Afro.

During his glory days as a Detroit Piston, Wallace's Afro was as intimidating as his awesome moves on the court. Whenever Wallace made a particularly powerful slam dunk or slapped a shot out of the air, he made a point of directing attention to his 'do. He claimed that his Afro was his source of power. He was the one who gave himself the nickname, "Fear the Fro!"

His fans in Detroit never disputed his boastful words. In fact, they frequently paid tribute to Wallace’s “mane” asset by showing up at games wearing oversized Afro wigs.

Wallace and his familiar 'fro were also mentioned in the movie "Four Brothers," which takes place in Detroit.

Ben Wallace

Wallace left the Pistons in July, 2006, and signed a four-year, $60 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. His disgruntled fans in Detroit fans balked and sarcastically changed his nickname from "Fear the 'Fro," to "Fear the Dough."

Wallace’s playing skills haven’t diminished since he moved to Chicago, but his nappy crown hasn't had the same fame in Chicago that it had in Detroit.

A few months after playing with the Bulls, he was pulled from a game against the New York Knicks in November 2006. His temporary suspension had nothing to do with his 'do. It had everything to do with the 'ornament' that he wore in it.

Wallace was benched for wearing a red headband.

Wearing headbands was forbidden by Bulls head coach Scott Skills and general manager John Paxton Wallace knew that but decided to be hard-headed and wore one anyway. He said at the time that the only reason he violated the rule was to shake up the team. The Bulls were 4-9 in the early season. The next month, the Bulls went on to have a 14-3 month. He never wore the headband again.

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