By Jimmy Toscano
Ray Allen is a big golfer -- one of the lowest handicaps in the NBA as a matter of fact. It appears as though he'll have a lot more time to work on his golf game, being that we're now 46 days in and the NBA lockout is nowhere near a conclusion.
"It's interesting that you counted," Allen told Comcast SportsNet's Kyle Draper Monday at his charity golf tournament in Cromwell, CT. "You've been counting -- 46. It's interesting because at this juncture of the summer, it's pretty much just business as usual. For most of the players when you start to see games missed, that's when there's more that comes into play."
Allen has a point. It may be all fun and games now for a lot of NBA superstars. The financial aspect of the lockout undoubtedly hasn't hit many of the players. But come October, November, etc., when the checks aren't rolling in, maybe then will players and owners start to get serious about a season.
"We'd like to speed the process up and put urgency out there now," Allen said, "but right now it seems as though we're not moving forward like we'd like. For us players, we just have to keep our bodies together and keep our minds sharp, because you never know when it will break."
Allen doesn't have to worry about that. He's been keeping in top shape even before he entered the NBA, and has been through one lockout in his career. While a number of NBA players past let the lockout affect their careers, Allen's continued to blossom after. Now 36, he's not blossoming anymore. But at the same time, he's still competing with the best of them. In fact, last season he set career highs in field goal percentage (.491) and three-point field goal percentage (.444).
The same age-is-just-a-number mentality also applies to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two more future NBA Hall of Famers. Many skeptics say that the team is too old -- washed up -- now to compete for an NBA championship, but Allen knows that isn't true.
"If you go back to 2008, that was our last year," he said, mockingly. "2009 was our last year, 2010 was our last year, 2011 was our last year. I think we truly have proven to be very resilient regardless of what has happened. You win a championship or you don't. We get knocked down we're ready to get back up again. We're going to fight, we're going to fight no matter what."
And if you think that, lockout or not, this is the last time you'll see the Big Three in Green, maybe you ought to think again. Allen doesn't seem to see it that way.
"When it comes down to it, we look to be in Boston for a lot longer than just this year."