'08 MVP, Allen's made most of All-Star Games.


Byline: Bill Doyle


Sore thumb and all, Ray Allen plans to play in his ninth NBA All-Star Game at 8 tonight in Phoenix and if he could he'd play in nine more.

"It's not like anything you ever become used to," Allen said. "All-Star weekend has its flare and dramatics involved. Every year the city changes so there's always something unique about it that makes it worth being a part of."

Age won't allow Allen to play in nine more All-Star Games. He's 33 and will be lucky to take part in two or three more. But he's made the most of his All-Star appearances so far, averaging 15.6 points in eight games.

Last year, in his first season with the Celtics, Allen was an injury replacement for Washington's Caron Butler and scored a game-high 28 points in less than 19 minutes. LeBron James won the All-Star Game MVP for his 27 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds, but the East couldn't have recorded its six-point victory without Allen, who made 10 of 14 shots, including 5 of 9 3-pointers.

Tonight will be the first time that the entire Big Three will play in the All-Star Game as Celtics. Kevin Garnett will make his 11th All-Star appearance, but his first as a Celtic. Garnett was the leading vote getter last year in his first season in Boston, but didn't play in the All-Star Game because of a strained abdominal muscle. Paul Pierce will play in his seventh All-Star Game, tying Kevin McHale, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White for seventh most by a Celtic. Bob Cousy and John Havlicek share the team record for most All-Star appearances with 13.

If Allen could change anything about the All-Star break, he'd make it longer so the All-Stars could rest after the game.

"If you're participating in it," he said, "you're having a great time, but you're not really getting that time off."

Allen was the fifth pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, widely considered to be one of the greatest drafts of all-time, but not everyone predicted greatness for the former UConn star. For its February 1997 cover story on the 1996 rookie class, Slam magazine picked Allen as most likely to flop.

"They said I was one of those guys who wouldn't amount to much," Allen said. "Not that I needed motivation, but that was always something that was in the back of my mind."

Allen has a copy of the magazine at home, but he hasn't flipped through it in awhile.

"I don't have to look at it, it's always up here," he said pointing to his head.

Most experts rank the drafts of 1996, 1984 and 2003 as among the three...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT