NBA: Ray Allen being heavily courted by Spike Lee to join Knicks
Derrick Rose’s bold declaration that the New York Knicks will be one of next year’s “super-teams” might not just be a far-fetched idea after all.
One of the most decorated pure shooters of all time, Ray Allen is gaining a lot of interest from NBA teams for his possible return. American director and New York Knicks super-fan, Spike Lee, is reportedly leading the charge to recruit the prized shooting guard.
“Spike Lee has been trying to recruit me. We’ve been texting,” Allen, who last played in the league in the 2013-14 season, told the Hartford Courant on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
With less than three months to go before the new season starts, Lee has reportedly been pulling all the stops to lure Allen to the Big Apple, but the 41-year-old sharpshooter has yet to make a decision on where he would sign.
“My decision is predicated on what is available,” he said in the report. “I said that I was interested because I never retired for a reason. I’ve been watching, seeing what teams have been doing and I’ve been waiting to see if the opportunity presented itself where I think I could fit,” he said.
The pair’s relationship goes way back, as Allen was once the lead actor of Lee’s basketball cult hero movie “He Got Game,” where he played the role of Jesus Shuttlesworth alongside Hollywood royalty Denzel Washington.
It is widely believed that that two-time NBA champion, who last suited up for the Heat, will most likely sign up with an immediate contender like the defending champs, Cleveland Cavaliers, or the recently revamped Golden State Warriors.
Surprisingly, Allen said he is also considering a reunion with the Boston Celtics, with whom he won a championship in 2008, or the up-and-coming Milwaukee Bucks, where he started his career.
“I would love going back to those places if it worked out, because both teams are good, too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be championship-or-bust for me to go back to the NBA” Allen said.
“I want to be in a situation where I thought I could help, play a little bit and help where they have good young talent,” the NBA’s All-time leader in three pointers added.
Despite the two-year lay-off, the 19-year veteran has kept himself in shape and believes he still got what it takes to return to the hardwood.
“I worked out the other day in New York with a friend of mine,” Allen was quoted as saying in the report. “I was shooting, I was going through my routine just like I’d always done. Yeah, I was a little winded, but I was able to go through my routine like I’d always gone, though my routine and I didn’t feel like I’d missed any time in doing what I was doing.”
He added, “For me, it’s not ‘Can I do it anymore?’ It’s how I feel after I do it. And yesterday, I felt great.”
Allen is expected to make his decision by the start of training camp, and if he is not signed until then, he will make his retirement official.
“At the start of the year, if nothing pans out, then basically I’ll retire,” he said. Khristian Ibarrola