Ray Allen

Southeast Notes: Dedmon, Satoransky, Heat

Hawks big man Dewayne Dedmon suffered a left ankle injury during a workout last Monday, the team announced today in a press release. According to the club, an X-ray and MRI revealed that the veteran center had sustained an avulsion fracture.

While Dedmon is currently in a walking boot, he’ll be re-evaluated in a week and the injury isn’t considered “serious,” per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It’s unclear whether Dedmon will be ready to go when the Hawks open training camp later this month, but it sounds like the injury won’t have a major impact on his regular season availability.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • There are still a handful of intriguing free agent wings on the market, including Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson. However, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn’t expect the Heat to go “anywhere near” those players, given their logjam at shooting guard, unless perhaps Dwyane Wade decides to retire and Dion Waiters‘ ankle recovery hits a snag.
  • As the only Czech-born player currently in the NBA, Tomas Satoransky has become a household name in his home country, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, who writes that Satoransky wants to find ways to give back to those in the Czech Republic. A key part of the Wizards‘ backcourt, Satoransky is entering a contract year in 2018/19 and will be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.
  • In a one-on-one conversation with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Ray Allen spoke about entering the Hall of Fame, the various chapters of his NBA career, and his memories of “The Shot” that helped the Heat win the 2013 NBA Finals.

Ray Allen, 12 Others Selected To 2018 Hall Of Fame Class

Two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star Ray Allen was among 13 names selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for enshrinement as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class.

In his 18-year career, Allen set the record for most three-point field goals made with 2,973 and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list with an .894 mark. Allen, 42, was drafted by the Bucks fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee. After a four-and-a-half year run with the then-Supersonics, Allen joined the Celtics, capturing his first of two NBA titles in 2008.

The University of Connecticut product joined the Heat for his final two seasons, capturing his second championship in 2013. Allen sank several clutch treys in Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, leading the Heat to the title.

As we relayed earlier this week, Jason KiddSteve Nash, Grant HillMaurice Cheeks, and Rod Thorn were selected to the Hall of Fame. You can read detailed descriptions of their careers from our February report of 13 finalists being selected for the Hall of Fame.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith,  four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were also selected.

Nash, Kidd, Allen Headline 13 Hall Of Fame Finalists

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced 13 finalists to be considered for election to the Hall of Fame in 2018. The list includes six first-time finalists, including likely first-ballot hall-of-famers Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash, as well as Grant Hill, three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith and four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson.

Among the seven other finalists are four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks, two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber. Rounding out the list are long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, 28-year NBA referee Hugh Evans, two-time NCAA National Championship Coach of Baylor Kim Mulkey, and 10-time AAU National Champions Wayland Baptist University.

The Class of 2018 will be announced on Saturday, March 31 at a press conference in San Antonio prior to the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Let’s now take a look at some more information on the six former NBA stars up for election as players.

  • Steve Nash – Played in the NBA for 19 seasons, earning MVP honors in both 2005 and 2006. An eight-time All-Star and an All-NBA First Team member in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Nash also holds the NBA record for highest career free throw percentage (.904) and had four seasons with a shooting line of .500/.400/.900, the most in NBA history.
  • Jason Kidd – During his 18-year NBA career, he earned All-NBA First Team honors five times and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star while also ranking second on the NBA all-time steals list (2,684) and all-time assists list (12,091).
  • Ray Allen – A two-time NBA Champion, Allen was selected to the All-Star game 10 times during his 18-year career. He is still the all-time NBA leader in three-point field goals made (2,973) and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list (.894).
  • Grant Hill – A 19-year NBA veteran, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and a member of the All-NBA First Team in 1997, Hill was also a member of two NCAA national championship teams (1991, 1992) at Duke and a gold medal recipient at the 1996 Olympic Games.
  • Chris Webber –Webber is a five-time NBA All-Star and the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year. He earned All-NBA First Team honors in 2001 and averaged more than 20 points per game for nine consecutive seasons from the mid-90’s to the early 00’s.
  • Maurice Cheeks – A four-time NBA All-Star (1983, 1986-1988) and four-time NBA All-Defensive team selection, Cheeks was also a member of the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers.

Celtics Notes: Ainge, Thomas, Rozier, Pierce

Celtics president Danny Ainge says the decision to include Isaiah Thomas in a package to get Kyrie Irving from Cleveland was “the toughest call I ever had to make,” relays Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Thomas shared his thoughts on the deal in an article this week for The Players Tribune, which Ainge called a “fabulous job.” As a former player, Ainge said he empathizes with the feelings of being sent from one organization to another.

Ainge refused to explain his motivation for the deal, but explained that he is always trying to improve the team. “It’s in everybody’s best interest that I don’t share all the reasons [for the trade],” he said. “But the bottom line is obviously I felt like it was the right thing for our franchise to do. But it’s a deep and complicated process. It’s not as simple as people think it is. … It’s not easy for these office people that become great friends with the players. There’s a reality that I see and that’s what makes any sort of trade challenging. But it’s just part of the world that we live in, but it’s got to be done. You’ve got to do what’s best for the franchise. The franchise is bigger than all of us. Bigger than one individual.”

There’s more out of Boston:

  • Terry Rozier wasn’t worried about being traded over the offseason, he told Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Entering his third season with the Celtics, Rozier is among the most tenured players on the team following this summer’s roster shakeup. He said he concentrates on producing on the court and leaves the personnel decisions to the front office. “The guys up top, their job is to get the team together and our job is to play,” Rozier said. “I’m pretty sure Danny and all our organization who make the decisions will have us ready, put us in the right spot.”
  • Paul Pierce is ready to end his feud with Ray Allen, according to Adam Reisinger of ESPN. Pierce posted a photo on social media of himself and Allen, who are both serving as coaches for a celebrity basketball game in Shanghai, with a caption that read, “Time to get the band back together.” Allen has been an outcast with many of his former teammates since leaving Boston to sign with the Heat in 2012.

Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Allen, Simmons, Russell

The Celtics‘ decision to trade Isaiah Thomas is drawing anger from some former players on social media, relays Andrew Joseph of USA Today. Caron Butler blasted the deal on Instagram, saying “Celtics traded a guy who played in a game for them a day after his sister died, but y’all expect players to be loyal to the franchise, sure.”

Butler’s post drew a response from ex-Celtic Ray Allen, who alienated many teammates in 2012 when he signed with the Heat. The bitter feelings still linger, as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce excluded Allen from a Celtics reunion in May. “But since the team does it I guess it’s just business,” Allen wrote in response to Butler’s post. “Smh!! It is just a business so when the teams do it there’s no difference when the players do it!!”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Thomas family is taking a different approach to the deal, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Thomas’ father, James, offered thanks to the Celtics for the opportunities they gave Isaiah. “There were good times in Boston,” he said. “They were good to us. They gave my son a chance to play in the NBA. It’s nothing against them. I have only good things to say. I can’t cut them. Hey, every starter that was there this year is gone except one. Maybe they did what was best for Boston, or at least they think they did.”
  • After missing all of last season while recovering from a broken foot, the Sixers‘ Ben Simmons has been medically cleared for basketball activities, according to Tom Moore of GateHouse Media (Twitter link). The first overall pick in 2016 reportedly participated in a recent pickup game in Australia.
  • After moving from the Lakers to the Nets in an offseason trade, D’Angelo Russell has bigger goals than just helping Brooklyn improve after a 20-win season, writes Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily“I want teams to hate us,” Russell said. “We’ve struggled over the last few years in Brooklyn. Teams are used to coming in and taking nights off. I just want to rebuild that and make it a place where people come and say, ‘alright we got the crowd against us. It’s New York.’”

And-Ones: Seattle, Summer League, Ledo, Prigioni

Ray Allen has been in the news lately for his beef with his former Celtics teammates, stemming from his move to the Heat. Before he played for either of those clubs though, Allen was a four-time All-Star for the Seattle SuperSonics. The longtime marksman was at his best during his time in Seattle, averaging 24.6 PPG in 296 regular season contests, and he still has a fondness for his old home. As Alysha Tsuji of USA Today details, Allen suggested in a recent Instagram post that he wants to see the NBA back in the city.

“I still can’t believe that there is no basketball in Seattle!!” Allen wrote on an Instagram post that featured the hashtag #bringbackoursonics. “This city is too great not to have a hoops squad. Come on everybody we need to rally and bring the NBA back to Seattle. let’s make this happen people!!! The NBA misses traveling to Seattle, I know I certainly do!!!!!”

As we wait to see if Allen follows Russell Wilson‘s lead and officially joins a group trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • The NBA officially announced today that a record 24 teams will compete in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 7-17 this summer. While multiple Summer Leagues take place in July, the event in Vegas continues to be the most popular.
  • As David Pick reports (via Twitter), Spanish team Baskonia made a roster move involving a former NBA player earlier this week, signing Ricky Ledo, a second-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft. According to Pick (via Twitter), the move to add Ledo was made because Baskonia feared that former NBA sharpshooter Chase Budinger would miss the rest of the season with an injury.
  • Pick has another update on Baskonia, tweeting that the Spanish club is considering the possibility of hiring Pablo Prigioni as its future head coach. Although he played four seasons in the NBA, Priginoi spent most of his career in the Euroleague, spending a long stint with Baskonia in the 2000s. He recently retired as a player, and it appears coaching may be the next step for him.

And-Ones: Nurkic, Durant, R. Allen, W. Bynum

The Trail Blazers and Warriors will play Game 2 of their series on Wednesday night, and both sides may be missing a key player. Jusuf Nurkic, who continues to recover from a fractured leg, announced today that he won’t play in Game 2 for the Blazers, per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, who recently returned from a knee injury, is now battling a left calf strain and was listed as questionable on the Warriors’ injury report today (Twitter link).

As we wait to see if Durant is able to give it a go for Golden State, let’s round up a few odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • Appearing over the weekend on ESPN’s The Jump, Ray Allen was asked about why he hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, and explained that contract offers he received since then wouldn’t have given him a chance to have a real role (link via Adam London of NESN). “Most of the inquiries I have received were how ready am I to accept my role as a veteran and sit on the bench and mentor the young guys,” Allen said. “I’d love to do that, it comes naturally to me, but I do want to play.”
  • Veteran point guard Will Bynum has reached a deal to play for Luoyang in China this summer, according to 24/7 Basketball (Twitter link). Bynum, who has had multiple stints in China, played with the Pistons for several seasons in the NBA.
  • Canton Charge swingman John Holland – who has spent time with the Celtics and Cavaliers – is also headed to China, having agreed to a contract with the Beijing Eastern Ducks, Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net confirms. International basketball journalist David Pick first reported (via Twitter) that Holland was finalizing a deal with the Chinese club.
  • The Maine Red Claws and Raptors 905 are currently battling for the right to advance to the D-League Finals, and each team saw a key contributor take home a major award within the past few days. 2016 Celtics second-rounder Abdel Nader was the D-League’s Rookie of the Year, while Edy Tavares, who spent most of the season with the Raptors‘ affiliate, was named the NBADL Defensive Player of the Year. Tavares is now on the Cavaliers‘ roster, having been signed on the last day of the regular season.

Ray Allen Discusses Retirement Decision

Longtime NBA sharpshooter Ray Allen formally announced his retirement last Tuesday, writing a piece for The Players’ Tribune to make his decision official. The timing of the announcement seemed unusual to many observers, since Allen hadn’t played in an NBA game since 2014, but as the 41-year-old explains to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, he hadn’t fully given up on the idea of returning to the court until this year.

“After the 2014 Finals, I didn’t really think I was done and I thought there would be an opportunity,” Allen said. “Then, I was thinking I didn’t necessarily need or want to go to training camp. So I was going to wait and see if there was a team that made sense for me.”

While Allen wanted to continue his career at that point, he didn’t want to jump at the first offer, preferring to find a team that could meet several criteria — decent money, an opportunity for playing time, a chance to contend for a championship, and a coach who wouldn’t necessarily push his players through grueling practices, per Zillgitt.

Allen confirms that the Rockets made an enticing offer back in 2014, and Zillgitt hears from a source that Houston’s proposal was worth the full mid-level exception. However, that wasn’t enough to sway Allen, who never ended up finding a deal he liked for 2014/15.

“That first year went by, and it didn’t make sense. There was nowhere I thought I could fit in,” Allen said. “Coming into last year, I said, ‘Well, let’s see how it goes again.’ I started thinking, ‘Do I really want to do it? Do I want to be with my children? Or do I want to be away from my children?’ Then again, there wasn’t a situation that was worth it. Two years went by so quickly.

“One of the biggest factors was for me not to go back was the simple fact that I won twice already,” Allen added. “I believed going into the ’14/15 season, if I hadn’t won a championship, then I would’ve been on somebody’s roster. I would’ve moved. I would’ve tried to make it work anyway possible.”

Having finally decided to formally call it a career, Allen isn’t exactly sitting back and relaxing during his retirement. As Zillgitt details, the future Hall-of-Famer says he runs a minimum of two and a half miles per day, and he hopes to run a marathon “in the immediate future.”

And-Ones: Budinger, Allen, World Peace, O. Johnson

After being waived by the Nets last month, Chase Budinger has headed to Spain to join Baskonia. As Eurohoops.net details, Budinger says he’s excited to follow in the footsteps of former Baskonia big man Luis Scola, whom Budinger describes as a “mentor.” There will be no shortage of former Nets on the roster this season for Baskonia, as the team also features Andrea Bargnani, Shane Larkin, and Tornike Shengelia.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Now that Ray Allen has formally announced his retirement, what’s next for the future Hall-of-Famer? Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders explores that subject, recalling that when he spoke to Allen back in 2014, the veteran sharpshooter expressed interest in eventually getting into coaching.
  • The Lakers were in Indiana last night to play the Pacers, and veteran forward Metta World Peace took the opportunity to express some remorse about his time in Indiana earlier in his career, per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. According to World Peace, he can “never forgive” himself for letting so many people in the Pacers organization down.
  • Former second-round pick Orlando Johnson, who appeared in regular-season games with the Suns and Pelicans last season, has signed a three-month deal with Russian team UNICS Kazan, as relayed by Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. Johnson was in camp with the Bucks this fall, but didn’t make Milwaukee’s regular season roster.

Ray Allen Formally Announces Retirement

There were rumblings this offseason that longtime NBA sharpshooter Ray Allen was considering making a comeback, perhaps for a team like the Warriors, Celtics, or Bucks. However, in a piece for The Players’ Tribune today, Allen confirmed that he’ll officially retire rather than attempting to return to the court for an NBA franchise.Ray Allen vertical

“I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game,” Allen wrote in the piece, which was framed as a letter to his 13-year-old self. “I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.”

Allen, who turned 41 in July, last played for the Heat, helping the team win a championship in 2012/13 and get back to the NBA Finals in 2013/14. By the end of his final year in Miami, he was averaging well below his career mark of 18.9 PPG, but he still shot an impressive 39.8% on three-pointers during those two seasons with the Heat.

Over the course of his 18-year NBA career, Allen spent time with the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics, and Heat, earning 10 total All-Star nods with three separate clubs. He left the game as a 40.0% career three-point shooter, having set the record for most career threes.

Allen’s 2,973 total three-pointers separated him from second place (Reggie Miller) by more than 400 and from third place (Jason Terry) by more than 800. Still, considering the way the game has evolved in recent years, perhaps the idea of a comeback had some appeal as a way to allow him to stretch that lead, keeping it safe for a little longer. Instead, the former UConn standout will call it career, putting him on track for a Hall of Fame induction sooner rather than later.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.