The notion that Ray Allen would leave Miami to go play in Cleveland would seem to be a bit of a stretch, even if it meant accompanying LeBron James to contend for a title in a brand new location.
The weather, beaches, nightlife and real estate in that particular part of Florida are all far more desirable than those same things in Cleveland, in almost any objective observer’s eyes.
But somewhat surprisingly, the location of the franchise may not mean what we think it does to every NBA player. It’s certainly not a consideration for Allen, who explained that life in the NBA is largely the same no matter your specific team’s home town.
From Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:
And while Allen has clearly enjoyed his time in Miami—recently deciding to buy the house that he’d been renting—he downplayed the importance of a franchise’s location.
“It’s great because we get to live in great weather and this is an awesome city to live in, but for the most part, we don’t partake in living in Miami the majority of the year because you are traveling and you’re trying to stay off your feet,” Allen said. “I played in Milwaukee, you know; it was cold, you didn’t go outside. I played in Seattle; it rained a lot. So most of the cities in the NBA, at the end of the day, you do the same things consistently throughout. We do have the opportunity to go out and eat at night and be able to enjoy it on off days, but there are so many other things to consider.”
Allen’s right, in that during the season, your time is largely dominated by team-related duties. And for a more mature player near the end of his career, those ancillary things don’t mean as much as they do to someone younger who may be looking to take advantage of their NBA status.
What’s clear is that Allen’s experiences in poor-weather, small-market cities aren’t exactly going to scare him away from finishing his career in a place like Cleveland — especially if it means contending for one last title playing alongside James.