Tony Allen is a charter member of the Paul Pierce fan club

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Tony Allen spent the first six years of his NBA career in Boston before signing a three-year deal with the Grizzlies this summer.

That is six years along side Paul Pierce, defending Pierce in practices and watching how he works. Watching him win games for the Celtics and shoot them out of others. Allen soaked it all up. In a wide ranging Q&A with Dime Magazine, Allen came off as Piece’s biggest fan.

“He’s never down. He’s the most confident person in the world. I saw games where he went 3-for-17 and pretty much shot us out of the game. But he always had the confidence and the mentality to say to himself, “You know what? Those odd shots that I missed? I guarantee that I won’t miss them next game.” Then the next game he comes out and probably has 35. The way he deals with consistency and how he practices to be prepared, it’s almost like he has the right to be and has the confidence…He has the right to be selfish because he’s a winner and he definitely knows how to win. That reputation that he had, you have to know him in order to judge him. He’s definitely one of the most confident players that I’ve competed against or that I’ve known….

“He’s not one of the quickest guys in the world. He’s not one of the most athletic guys in the world. But on any given night, you will look up and he will have 30-something points on you. And not only 30-something points, but he will have 10 or 12 rebounds and maybe six or seven assists. I just think with a guy like that, you pretty much can’t give him anything. You can’t give him a wide-open jump shot. You can’t pressure the ball because he knows how to draw fouls and knows how to get defenders in the air with his pump fake. His midrange game is strong and now he’s shooting the three-ball better than ever.”

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.

Take a look back at just how great Shaq was with the Lakers (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.

His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.

Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.