Celtics

Celtics' Allen exercises 2011-12 contract option

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Celtics' Allen exercises 2011-12 contract option

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Ray Allen made official on Tuesday what we've all known for some time now.

He is a Boston Celtic.

Allen exercised the second-year option on his contract to remain a Celtic for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

The former UConn star averaged 16.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season and was named to his 10th All-Star team, which was his third (in four seasons) with the Celtics.

The veteran guard, who currently ranks 24th all-time in NBA history in career points scored (22,286), could have tested the free-agent waters this summer.

However, there were far too many reasons for him to remain in Boston.

For starters, there's the 10 million contract that he would be walking away from. As good as Allen was last season, there's no telling if any other team would be willing to pay him that kind of money.

And when you throw in the fact that the yet-to-be-hammered-out Collective Bargaining Agreement among the player's union and the owners will likely include lowered salaries, that adds even more uncertainty to the kind of salary a veteran with his talents could have demanded.

Maybe even more significant than the money is Allen's role with the Celtics.

Allen has developed a close relationship with the franchise and its fan base. It's not an uncommon thing for him and Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, to play golf during the offseason or on days off during the early part of the season.

But ultimately it comes down to how he performs. And this past season, one with so many guys struggling with their play or injuries, Allen was a steady force.

In addition, Allen's ability to shoot so well from 3-point range is a distinction that sets him apart from the other five players currently under contract for next season.

In fact, this past season Allen shot a career-best 44 percent and became the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made when he passed Indiana Pacers great Reggie Miller on Feb. 11 - a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in which Miller, who works for TNT, was in attendance working as an analyst.

Even with Allen back in the fold, the Celtics will be hard-pressed to remain among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference.

But it's a challenge that Allen - and the C's - are eager to tackle.

"We found different ways to rise from the ashes, so to speak," Allen said during the C's most recent playoff series against the Miami Heat. "Winning championships, there's never a clear-cut formula how to do it."

But having a shooter like Allen on your roster, can only help.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Isaiah Thomas likes video of Jalen Rose calling Paul Pierce 'petty'

Just when all the video tribute controversy between Isaiah Thomas and Paul Pierce seemed to be dying down, Jalen Rose heated it right back up.

Live on ESPN's "NBA Countdown," Rose called Pierce "petty" for his comments on the Celtics potentially holding a video tribute for Isaiah on Feb. 11 when Pierce gets his jersey retired.

Jalen Rose called Paul Pierce petty right to his face... 😳

A post shared by DIME on UPROXX (@dimemagazine) on

Thomas tweeted on Tuesday that he (again) declined the Celtics' offer to hold the tribute for him so it wouldn't interfere with Pierce's night. But if you look at the likes on the Instagram video above, posted by dimemagazine, you'll see Thomas appears to agree with Rose on the matter.

It doesn't look like the video tribute drama is going to end until the Feb. 11 matchup between the Celtics and Cavaliers is over with.

Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

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Horford: Fighting in NBA 'needs to stop'

WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Houston Rockets players entered the Los Angeles Clippers’ training room before being stopped by security but not before a profanity-laced exchange that’s sure to result in fines and possibly some suspensions.

Orlando’s Arron Afflalo threw a punch – and barely missed – hitting Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica which led to both players being ejected and for Afflalo will likely result in a suspension of some kind.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons got into it with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, resulting in both players being tossed and apparently leading to Simmons signaling to Lowry that they could continue having their “discussion” in the hallway.

That hallway encounter never happened (Lowry said he was there, Simmons said he didn’t see Lowry so you believe who you want to), but the fact that it was even a possibility speaks to this being one of the more bizarre weeks in recent memory when it comes to potential fighting in the league. 

And remember … it’s only freakin’ Wednesday!

I asked Boston’s Al Horford about this.

“It’s very, very bizarre,” said Horford, now in his 11th NBA season. “I don’t think I remember any period of time, (with) all this chippiness going on. You want to compete, you want to play hard; that’s fine. But all the extra stuff, I think needs to stop. At the end of the day you need to focus on basketball. We’re here to play.”

Horford added, “I’m sure the NBA will address those things and fix them.”

No one was shocked that things got a little testy in the Houston-Los Angeles Clippers game which was played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It was the first time Chris Paul, now with the Rockets, returned to Los Angeles to face his former team. 

The Clippers won 113-102, a game filled with trash talk from both sides. But apparently the chatter soon turned to chippy play with hard fouls delivered and taken in the latter stages of play with a total of five technical fouls called, two of which were on Blake Griffin which is an automatic ejection. 

Talking trash gone bad was a factor in the Simmons-Lowry bruhaha with the Sixers emerging with the victory. 

And on Tuesday, Afflalo and Bjelica had already been assessed a technical for an earlier run-in. Soon after, there was a collision between the two which pissed off Afflalo who swung with great force at Bjelica’s face. 

“We’re professionals,” Horford said. “We can’t get caught up in that stuff.”

Horford plays around the basket and is no stranger to banging around with the big, bad angry bodies. 

But as much as there will be times when he’ll want to snap, Horford has consistently resisted the urge. 

“It’s hard; it’s hard,” he said. “But we have to remember what we play the game for; I play to win. I’m playing for my teammates and sometimes you need to take a step back before you do something you regret. That’s the way I look at it.”

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