Ray Allen was very comfortable and happy in Miami — he was playing on a contender in a warm-weather city with lots of great golf where his family was comfortable, and he was making more than the league minimum.
Then this summer happened.
Now Allen’s option involve making the league minimum and contending in cold-winter Cleveland, or maybe joining old coach Doc Rivers in warm-weather Los Angeles on a team already loaded at the two-guard spot (J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, plus you can play Reggie Bullock there or the three) in a deep Western Conference that will be hard to escape just to get to the Finals. Dallas has tried to get in the mix but are they really contenders?
Now throw San Antonio in the mix, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
On the court Allen could certainly fit in with the Spurs, and it’s not a cold city. But the offer will likely be for the minimum. And again, the West is loaded. Certainly the Spurs have set the bar in that conference but there are teams close to clearing it.
Nothing seems a good fit and retirement remains on the table, something reinforced by Stein and Alex Kennedy at BasketballInsiders.
Allen has to decide if he wants to put his body through the NBA regular season grind again to chase another ring. He’s not doing it for the money. Does he want to be away from his family that much? Has he reached the point in his life where that trade off is not worth it? What does he want to do post NBA?
Allen doesn’t have to make his decision yet, he’s got until training camps open and beyond. He can let things play out and join a team mid-season should he want. There is no pressure on him, save what old teammates and coaches try to apply.
This could play out for a while longer.
As of tomorrow, training camps around the league open, and all the focus goes to the 2016-17 season.
For fun, let’s look back one more time at last season — the 50 top circus shots of last season.
Stephen Curry driving the lane and throwing up prayers once he draws contact (and hitting them), there is Russell Westbrook throwing the inbounds pass off an opponent’s back, and so much more. Enjoy. Then let’s get on with next season.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.