Destined for the Hall of Fame is shooting guard Ray Allen, one of the best to every play this game. The 10-time All-Star has a couple of NBA championships, one of which came with the Boston Celtics playing for Doc Rivers.
Rivers asserted his leadership and contagious passion, steering the Los Angeles Clippers franchise up the mountain. In his first season as the head coach of Lob City, there were immediate player development results that turned the Clippers into championship contenders.
Allen won his second championship a couple season ago with the Miami Heat in their repeat campaign. The man is also known as Jesus Shuttlesworth, his famous role in Spike Lee‘s movie “He Got Game.” He may not be the basketball savior that the Cleveland Cavaliers welcomed back with open arms, but he would play a key role playing for a title with some familiar faces. He was teammates with power forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis with the Celtics, including that 2008 championship season.
If there’s one thing you can never have too much of on a basketball team, it’s perimeter shooters. Allen grew up on an Air Force base just hours away from Los Angeles. As a free agent in 2012, Allen met with the Clippers before joining the Heat, but that was before Rivers came to town. Now that the head coach has earned the additional role as President of Basketball Operations, he can move on from boycott threats and lob his former gunner a call to come back home. This opportunity would give Allen a shot at winning a title, with a coach he has won with before, and to come full circle to retire on the west coast. How many players can say they won a ring, let alone accomplishing that on both coasts?
Allen could be spotting up for the best table-setter in the game, Chris Paul. He could be spreading the floor for fellow-Jordan Brand representative, Blake Griffin to operate. You know Rivers likes to mix and match his lineups. Just imagine Allen on one side with J.J. Redick on the other. Or imagine him filling the lanes on the break when Paul or Jamal Crawford pushes the ball, all scenarios that could result in the three-ball. What’s even more dangerous is the fact that opponents couldn’t focus their gameplans on his ability to move without the ball. Not only would he be getting passes in perfect spots from CP3, but Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would slash to the rim after he comes off those picks. That would help Redick polish his game in a similar role and even ease the blow if Crawford were to get traded due to his contract desires.
In every way, shape or form, including Allen’s selflessness to play for less money, it would be an ideal scenario for a team that added shooting this offseason. Previously, L.A. signed Spencer Hawes, Jordan Farmar and re-signed Davis. As illustrated by the champion San Antonio Spurs, you can never have too much of anything. Every single player on the roster averaged less than 30 minutes per game, so clearly, having a deep roster keeps the team fresh and the role players in rhythm.
Allen, Rivers or whoever has to pickup the phone, this is a real possibility. This is just as enticing as Cleveland’s unclear situation: trade speculation, new coach and a team that has not played a game together despite the temptations of staying in the Eastern Conference. A conference that finally, a LeBron James-led team isn’t even considered clear favorites in. The Clippers, on the other hand, although they improved individually and collectively to place third in a deep Western Conference, that was still a raw team scratching the surface. A year later with another offseason under Rivers, the Clippers are an easy sell and a tough situation for Allen to pass up.