Celtics guard Ray Allen described himself as elated and ecstatic to be named an All-Star for the ninth time in his career. From the sounds of it, his teammates might be even happier.
Allen will join Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at the All-Star game on Feb. 15 in Phoenix after being named an injury replacement for Orlando guard Jameer Nelson earlier today.
On his way to the Garden this afternoon, Allen received a text message of congratulations from Garnett, and Pierce offered his well-wishes in the locker room. Allen said the Big 3 are happy to have each other’s company at the All-Star game for a second straight season.
“It’s a team game, so to be recognized as one of the best nine times, I’m always overjoyed,” said Allen. “Regardless of what team I’m playing for, who my teammates are, it’s always an honor and, in my time here, it’s a privilege to represent this franchise as it’s been on of the best.
“To go alongside Kevin and Paul — I was so happy for them — but now to be alongside, it’s such a joy.”
Asked about whether he can duplicate his near-MVP performance from last season, Allen offered a lighthearted retort.
“There’s one variable this year: Doc is not the coach,” said Allen, eliciting laughter. “I might be sitting on the bench on this one. I’m happy for the whole Cavaliers organization, they’ve had a great year, LeBron (James) has had a great year, and Mike Brown is definitely deserved of being coach of the East team. We’ll go there, have a good time.
“I remembering being there with the three Detroit guys last year. We’re all on the same team, they were happy and said let’s make us some money, win the game. After the All-Star game’s over, they don’t like you any more. We’ll go out there, enjoy each other and once it’s over, it’s back to business.” (Check out more Ray Allen video here)
Before Thursday’s game against the Lakers, Celtics coach Doc Rivers noted that Allen “should have been on there, so it’s nice.” Told of Allen’s comments about how he probably won’t get as many minutes this year without his coach leading the Eastern All-Stars, Rivers was fine with the notion.
“Who’s coaching, Mike Brown?” asked Rivers. “I might tell him to bench all three of our guys, that would be terrific.”