Friday, March 18

Shut Up, Ray

Ray Allen of the Seattle Sonics

"Much of your pain is self-chosen."

~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

There are 19 games remaining in the season. 19 games until the playoffs and all the wonder that would bring, capping a glorious season of rebirth for the Sonics and their fans. With expectations sagging lower than, as Dan Rather would put it, your Uncle Horace's ass after a night of carousin', this team has confounded all doubters and risen to the top of the Western Conference.

Yet all that joy is being ripped down by the discontent of seemingly one man - Ray Allen.

For two games now, Detroit and Chicago, Allen has groused about the inability of the offense to get him the ball, ignoring the fact he has shot below 40% from the field for the month.

Allen has been a man of contradictions. Asked why he was not getting many shots, Allen said, “I’m not getting any looks. You got to talk to the coach.”

That was on Wednesday. On Thursday, he had changed his tune, admonishing Rashard Lewis for his comments regarding certain unnamed teammates that seem to be more interested in themselves than the team. Quoth Mr. Allen: "We can't splinter when we lose a game."

Really, Ray? Is that why you've been bitching so much lately? Or is complaining about whiny teammates different than whining about your coach? The same coach who has guided this team to an amazing record, who will be hired before his plane touches down should he decide to leave Seattle?

Dammit, this is exactly why Ray Allen is a loser. From never making the Final Four at UConn, to never doing crap in the playoffs with Milwaukee, to the same thing in Seattle, the guy is only interested in his own achievements. In his own words, “There are two people on this team that are supposed to shoot the ball, that’s me and Rashard.” When faced with a difficult situation, presented with a team that has been losing more frequently than it had been used to over the previous five months, Allen didn't step up and take the pressure upon himself. No, he complained about not getting enough minutes. (He also compared his situation to that of Michael Jordan's in Chicago, and the rest of his teammates to Will Perdue. Nice, Ray).

Well, Ray, despite your belief that the entire world is out to get you, it isn’t so. McMillan hasn’t reduced your third quarter minutes because of some irrational reason, he’s reduced them for the good of the team – because you were in foul trouble and, well, because the team was playing just fine without you.

All of which makes me wonder – are Ray’s complaints about minutes because of the team’s lack of success, or because each point he doesn’t get means a few less dollars in the free agent market? Being that he was bitching after a fantastic win over the Bulls the other night, I’m leaning toward the latter.

That being the case, let me be the first to say:

Shut up, Ray, and when June comes, keep on walking.

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