Ray Allen Calls Lockout 'Embarrassing,' Will Stay Ready For Season
BOSTON (CBS) - The NBA is in the midst of a lockout that could cost them the 2011-12 season, but Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen will be ready to take the court whenever it comes to an end.
"Hopefully we all learned something from the previous one," said Allen, who was in his third season in the NBA when the 1998-98 lockout cut the season to 50 games. "The last lockout we went into I was home in January. November, December I was just working out just trying to keep my body right. We just waited for word. You can only sit back and wait, see what happens. There is nothing you can do about it."
Now in his second lockout as a player, Allen sees it silly and embarrassing it is happening again.
"I look at Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dr. J. and I almost feel, the money we make not only us as players but as owners, the money in the loop is so outstanding it's almost embarrassing that we can make this type of money and we still haggle over what we haggle over," he said.
Allen was in Boston Wednesday for the unveiling on his "Wall of Hope," a wall that showed off various sneakers from his historic NBA career. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Ray Of Hope Foundation which assists with sports and community related programs. Money raised from Wednesday's event, sponsored by VitaminWater, will go towards installing computer labs in Boston areas schools.
Ray Allen's "Wall Of Hope"
Now a 15-year veteran, the collection is a large one, ranging from All-Star game sneakers to the ones Allen wore when he broke the NBA's 3-point title last year.
Allen knows his time in the NBA will end soon, but he is not ready to hang them up just yet, even if there is no basketball this year.
"I just have to have faith in our system and the guys that are negotiating on our behalf," he said. "I look at 15 years and to be able to have made it this far. When I came in the league, I gauged my career against what Michael Jordan did. At the time he was 8, 9, 10 years. I said I'll be lucky to play 11-12 years. If I do that I'll be happy."
"It's almost like I'm on borrowed time now right now; and I like this borrowed time. I want to continue to borrow it. If the season doesn't happen, I'm going to get ready for the next one," said Allen.
Allen "On Borrowed Time"
For his entire career, Allen has been in tremendous physical shape. He is at the court before anyone else, shooting free throws and three pointers. With no organized workouts during the lockout, it will be up to him and other team veterans to make sure the younger players, especially Boston's two draft picks, do their best to get ready for a potential season.
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"The responsibility is going to be on me, Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett)…Where we're trying to institute what we want as far as the team is concerned," he said. "Just making the connection, letting them know your teammates are here."
"When we started, we had back to back to backs. 50 games is such a shortened season, (it was) overwhelming for all of us. When you get a young guy, it's almost like you can't play them because you're playing so fast and quick. You want to win games, trying to make the playoffs."
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While Allen can reach out to teammates, he cannot talk to team management. This includes team president Danny Ainge, which may be a problem for the two of them.
"We all know the rules. If I've seen Danny, I'm sure he knows what we're dealing with. We live in the same neighborhood, I didn't even think about it. If I see him, I'm like 'what's up Danny?' I would have been really hurt, like 'Danny didn't speak to me,'" Allen joked.
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