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Ray Allen's future in Boston looks cloudy

The veteran guard recently lost his starting spot and has had to deal with public disclosure of a failed trade. The Times' Ben Bolch goes coast to coast in the NBA.

April 21, 2012|By Ben Bolch
  • Ray Allen, the subject of trade rumors this season, remains part of the Celtics' core heading into the postseason.
Ray Allen, the subject of trade rumors this season, remains part of the Celtics'… (David Goldman / Associated…)

A test of Celtics pride

It's enough to make Ray Allen wonder whether he's got any game left.

The veteran Boston Celtics sharpshooter recently lost his starting spot to Avery Bradley and then had to deal with the public disclosure of a failed trade involving Memphis guard O.J. Mayo.

Allen was nearly sent to the Grizzlies last month in exchange for Mayo and a draft pick, though Celtics Coach Doc Rivers refuted one breathless report that he called Allen to inform him of the deal only to call again shortly thereafter to tell him it was off.

Rivers insisted the relationship between Allen and Celtics management wasn't fractured.

"Afterwards we were all good and just moved forward," Rivers told reporters.

Trading Allen would have helped the Celtics get younger while adding a player from what is expected to be a strong draft class. Instead, they'll go into the playoffs with their aging core of Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Not that Rivers seemed to mind.

"I wouldn't want to see Ray, Paul or Kevin ever moved," Rivers said. "That's just how you are. Even if we got the best deal in the world, you're still losing guys you have an attachment with — that would be scary for me, or any of us."

There's fight in them

Push finally came to shove for the Charlotte Bobcats.

A terrible season sunk to a new low last week when Coach Paul Silas, apparently upset that forward Tyrus Thomas had been too chummy with Boston players during another Bobcats loss, reportedly thrust Thomas toward his locker after the game.

Several players separated Thomas and Silas, who once played for the Celtics and had been embarrassed by losing to a Celtics team that was resting its top players.

Thomas and Silas both issued the expected everything-is-fine declarations after the dust-up, but chances are they won't have to worry about being together much longer.

Silas' contract expires after this season and the disappointing Thomas, who has $26 million left on his contract over the next three seasons, is a prime candidate to have the Bobcats exercise the amnesty clause on him before next season.

Company men, the next generation

Imagine the back of Kobe Bryant's jersey featuring something besides his No. 24: a corporate logo.

It could happen.

Mock-up jerseys bearing corporate names and logos were recently shown to the NBA's board of governors as the league looks to find new revenue sources.

The Galaxy last month signed a 10-year, $44-million deal with Herbalife to showcase its name on jerseys, and the Sparks have had a deal with Farmers Insurance involving jersey branding for more than two years.

None of the four major professional sports in the United States has taken a similar plunge, but the NBA appears to be the closest.

Adam Silver, the league's deputy commissioner, told reporters that the owners' reactions to the logo-adorned jerseys varied, with responses including "Let's not do anything like that" and "Why aren't we considering it for next season?"

Doesn't sound as if there's a consensus.

— Ben Bolch

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