I can’t help it. I still have pent-up anger directed toward Tony Allen. I guess that’s what happens when a player spends the majority of six years inducing near-heart attacks.
Allen’s latest bad decision was his choice to sign in Memphis this offseason. Even though he presumably knew the Celtics offered a better chance to contend, Allen felt overshadowed in Boston. Behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Tony Allen never felt he received a chance to shine. Plus, Danny Ainge didn’t show enough interest in him, didn’t show him enough love. The Grizzlies clearly wanted Allen more during free agency, according to Allen himself.
Howdaya like him now, Memphis? Before the season, even Allen’s own coach questioned his choice to relocate to Memphis. Then Allen received a DNP-CD last night, the first of his Grizzlies career. Before that, Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote a sentence that will likely have Celtics fans nodding their heads. “Tony Allen,” Tillery wrote, “brought in to be a defensive stopper, seems to be focused more on scoring and has played a bit out of control on both ends.”
Tony Allen, out of control? Who woulda thunk it?
Even Acie Law, Allen’s teammate, expressed disappointment in Allen. “”I could do a whole lot better,” Law said as he discussed the bench’s slow start, before adding, “Tony could give us a little more.”
Allen, for his part, says he just wants to be a mentor.
“I am trying to prepare them to be good players, the best player they can be,’’ Allen told the Boston Globe, causing me to shudder at the thought of Tony Allen, mentor. “I attack them on the offensive end (editor’s note — read: turn the ball over) and the defensive end (editor’s note — read: foul three-point shooters). But everything is to get them better.’’
To be fair, Allen WAS a lot better last year. He developed a valuable role as a defensive stopper and energy man. This offseason, I even thought it might be a good idea for the Celtics to re-sign Allen, if only because the Celtics had mostly veteran minimum contracts to offer outsiders.
But even when Allen was playing well, I held my breath when he entered the game. Even when he made nice plays, I wondered when his next blunder would give me another headache. Even when he played his best, there was always the thought that everything was going to come swiftly tumbling apart. And I haven’t yet brought up his jumper, which — even a few months later — continues to give young Bostonians nightmares.
Still, Allen doesn’t know why Ainge let him leave Boston with little resistance.
“I miss those guys, but as far as [free agency], if [Ainge] wanted me, he would have did what he had to do to get me,’’ Allen told the Globe. “Obviously, it didn’t work out. Why he didn’t reach out and make me a priority, you’d have to ask him. I don’t know.”
Or you could just ask me, Tony. I bet I know why Ainge didn’t make you a priority. On second thought, you probably shouldn’t ask me. My response would probably hurt even more than that DNP-CD.