Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime

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Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime

BOSTON -- Ray Allen was back in the Boston Celtics lineup on Sunday after a recent bout with the norovirus, scoring 12 points in their overtime win against the New York Knicks.

Allen began feeling ill with a loss of appetite on Wednesday evening following the Celtics game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He vomited after returning home and thought some rest would cure the problem.

When you go to sleep you think it's all going to be better when you wake up, he said before the game. It wasnt better.

Allens wife, Shannon, drove him to New England Baptist Hospital where he was diagnosed with the norovirus. He said his children also had the illness while the Celtics were on the road.

He spent the day in the hospital receiving fluids as he battled with stomach problems. Allen returned home on Thursday evening and has regained his appetite since then.

After sitting out Fridays game against the New Jersey Nets, he looked bounce back on Sunday afternoon against the New York Knicks. Allen didnt expect any problems other than with his wind, as he calls it, after missing a game.

I'm always 100 percent, he said with a smile.

Allen struggled, though, on the offensive glass a points during the game. He went scoreless in the first quarter and didnt get on the board until three minutes into the second. At halftime he had just three points and went scoreless again in the third. He tacked on another four points in the fourth, heading into overtime with seven points.

Nonetheless, Doc Rivers was impressed by Allens performance for the way he fought off the Knicks defense.

They decided that they were going to take Ray out of the game, said Rivers. Start of the second half, we used Ray as a picker. He was picking everybody and getting guys open because nobody was getting off his body, and that was effective for us.

Enter overtime, where none of those missed shots in regulation mattered. Allen scored five of the Celtics 12 points in extra play. His back-to-back three-pointer and layup broke a 105-105 tie that pushed the Cs lead up to five points. They never trailed after that.

The greatest part about Ray over any player that Ive coached, is rare, said Rivers. He can miss all his shots and if you draw up a play for him at the end of a game, if he gets open, hes probably going to make it.

Theres not a lot of guys like that.

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.