OFFSEASON

Allen, Celtics look to stay fit during possible lockout

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Allen, Celtics look to stay fit during possible lockout

By A. SherrodBlakely
CSNNE.com CelticsInsider
Follow@sherrodbcsn DORCHESTER Ray Allen has been in the NBA long enough to remember the last time there was a lockout.

Being a relatively young player in 1998, Allen was surprised to see the number of veterans that had to walk away from the game because they weren't physically ready to spring into action once a deal was reached and the lockout was lifted.

Allen, who will be 36 next month, is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA. Staying in shape isn't an issue for him. But Allen intends to make sure the lockout doesn't become a crutch for his teammates as well.

If the league's owners and player's union can't agree on a new collective bargaining agreement by June 30, the second lockout in NBA history will officially go into effect July 1.

Sometime between then and the normal start of training camp, Allen said he and the C's veterans are likely to begin to get together to ensure they're physically ready to roll whenever the season starts.

"That's important," Allen said on Thursday after donating a state-of-the-art computer lab to the Sarah Greenwood school in Dorchester worth about 30,000 from his Ray of Hope charitable organization.

Allen said he'll consider organizing something at his alma mater, UConn.

"That's something we have to talk about as we get closer to the potential lockout date in October," Allen said. "We're going to have to sit and talk as a team, and try to figure out what's best for us as individuals and everybody to stay in shape."

And while Allen is hopeful that a lockout can be avoided, "you have to prepare for the worst."

He added, "From a team perspective, everyone has to try and stay connected with each other. You never know when it lockout breaks. We need to hit the ground running."

A fast start, especially in a shortened season, becomes paramount for a team fueled by veterans such as Allen, who once again have their sights set on winning an NBA title.

That thirst for the tantalizing taste of a title, is even stronger for Allen after seeing the Boston Bruins win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.

"I'm extremely proud of what they've done for the city of Boston," Allen said of the Bruins. "When you see it from the other side, you see just how much bigger it is than just yourself. You see how many people are rooting for you. Sometimes when we're on our own little path, our own little journey, we forget the intensity of the moment. Sometimes you can get to yourself, and forget it."

For Allen, the "moment" comes down to one thing and one thing only -- winning.

That's why it didn't phase him that Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, presented a hypothetical scenario that might involve either Allen or Paul Pierce coming off the bench next season. The move would be made in part to ensure Jeff Green would be a starter.

"To me, however I can help the team, it'll figure itself out," said Allen, who became the NBA's 3-point king this past season, a season in which he averaged 16.5 points and shot a career-best 44.4 percent from 3-point range.

"One thing with regards to Jeff, whatever I can do to make him better and to push him and make him play to the best that he can . . .

"Guys always look at it like coming off the bench is such a bad thing. I know we went through this with Allen Iverson; he didn't want to come off the bench. But you always worry more about who finishes games. But more important, when you're on a winning team, winning the game is the ultimate objective. That's my primary concern I want to win."

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

OFFSEASON

Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

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Northeastern's Walker, Ford sign with NBA teams after going undrafted

The NBA will have more of a Northeastern flavor this season.

The Huskies' star guard David Walker is joining the Miami Heat for the NBA's summer league in Orlando and Las Vegas, according to Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer.

Walker averaged 17.9 points and 4.0 assists per game as a senior at Northeastern.

Quincy Ford is heading to the Utah Jazz with a partially guaranteed three-year contract after averaging 16.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game as a senior. That deal was first reported by The Vertical's Shams Charania.