Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen


Miller's Hall of Fame snub bodes ill for Allen

By A. Sherrod Blakely

LOS ANGELES The news that Reggie Miller will not be part of this year's Naismith class of Hall of Famers caught many by surprise - including Boston's Ray Allen.

Miller, widely considered a lock to at least make it as a finalist, was not among the 10 players chosen by the North American Committee.

Aside from an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics, there are a lot of similarities between what Allen has done in his career and what Miller did prior to retiring.

Because of that, it gives Allen reason to pause and wonder about his legacy that, like Miller, is widely considered to be one that will end with his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"I didn't see the overall report of (who) the finalists were, but I am surprised," Allen said. "I don't know what else he has to do. I don't understand how the Hall of Fame works, the balloting and obviously, the different people around the country voting. His career is not going to change the next time it comes around. It would see that they got it wrong on this one."

Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors, said the process by which players are chosen for the Hall of Fame has to become more transparent.

However, Colangelo has no plans to reveal who the voters are.

"The only thing I'm not saying is who the people are that are voting," Colangelo said. "I want to protect the integrity of our process by not identifying the individuals."

Colangelo didn't get into too many specifics, but there were a number of factors that might have weighed against Miller getting in this year, his first on the ballot which, Colangelo said, may have been one of the factors considered by the North American Committee.

"There isn't one individual who is there for the first time," Colangelo said. "He (Miller) would have been a first-time selectee. There are a number of people who ended up here, who were not first-time selectees. Sometimes you wait your turn. Within a group, you need to get traction. When you discuss any individual, you talk about accomplishments. We'll talk about where he kind of falls. Sometimes an individual is looked at more as a specialist than maybe an all-around player. And maybe it's just not his time. Timing, that's another issue with the selection into the Hall of Fame."

Colangelo added, "Reggie just didn't get enough traction this time. He's a first time candidate. That speaks nothing about his future. He could very well, next year could be a whole different story for Reggie Miller, he's certainly a candidate going forward for the Hall of Fame."

The same could be said for Allen, who recently surpassed Miller as the NBA's all-time leader in made 3s.

Still, Allen now understands even that might not be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame on his first attempt.

"He's been in his era, he's been the best shooter playing the game and I'm trying to figure out I need to get to the bottom of it. What are they looking for?" Allen said. "What's going on? When I saw that this morning, I was surprised. It seemed like an injustice."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf


Celtics to begin season with Marcus Smart on the shelf

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”

Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice


Celtics pay tribute to Craig Sager in Tuesday's practice

WALTHAM, Mass. – At the end of Tuesday’s practice, the Boston Celtics donned a new-look jersey that was, well, quite colorful compared to the green-and-white clad uni-tops they usually wear.
It was in support of longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager, who is currently fighting the good fight in a three-year-battle with leukemia, as well as the SagerStrong foundation.
The NBA on TNT, Nike and the Golden State Warriors will honor the 65-year-old Sager on opening night with Sager-inspired t-shirts, shirts that the Celtics wore on Tuesday followed by a team picture in which all the players as well as Boston’s coaches and support staff, yelled "Sager strong."
“A guy that means a lot to this game of basketball, a guy that means a lot to the NBA, the NBA family,” said Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas in describing Sager. “We wish him well, praying for him and his family daily.”
The shirts were inspired by the outfit he wore when he accepted the Jimmy Valvano Award at the ESPYs this past summer.
“The shirts are nice; look like something he would wear,” Thomas said with a grin. “I wouldn’t wear it, but I know he would.”