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Ray Allen on D&H: Trash talking is a part of the game

11.04.10 at 12:33 pm ET
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Ray Allen

Ray Allen

Celtics guard Ray Allen joined Dale & Holley to talk about a number of topics including what it feels like to score 20,000 points and whether he seriously considered leaving Boston last summer. (To hear the whole conversation, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page).

He was also asked about the incident between Kevin Garnett and Charlie Villanueva.

“There’s a lot of instances that go on during the game,” Allen said. “I’ve heard a lot of trash talking in my day. I know Kevin and Charlie were going at it. One of the things about Kevin that people don’t know is he wanted to go to UConn. He talks so much trash about UConn now only because I went there. Charlie was the recipient of that trash talk because he went to UConn. I thought it was all in good fun. I don’t think he said anything that was out of bounds.

“So many people were asking, is trash talking out of bounds? What is off limits? So many people say so many things, so I don’t know if Kev said it to the extent of what [Villanueva said], but at the same time, that’s all within the lines. We’re trying to play basketball. I can only imagine what the guys in the NFL say to each other.”

Allen was asked if anything was out of bounds. He answered: “If you have something that’s going to get underneath somebody’s skin and you know it will keep them from playing basketball, at that moment when you’re playing basketball, I got to do what I got to do to win the game.” He added, “Some guys are trash talkers and the guys who can’t take it, they’ve got to stay out of that arena.”

Allen also shared his thoughts on Michael Jordan and why trash talking him was a bad idea.

“One thing, MJ was nice with his trash talking,” Allen said. “There were certain guys that he couldn’t stand, but if you said something to him, then he was going to shoot the next 10 shots in a row. The coach on the other side was like, ‘Man, why did you say something to him? Leave him alone. Do not push his buttons.’ So everybody knew don’t talk trash to MJ because he’s going to be able and score and dunk on you, whatever.

“Guys in the league, you just know who to mess with and who not to mess with. Some guys just go crazy. Some guys just use it. They look at you and say, ‘I’m going to attack you from here on out just because you said something to me.’ That’s part of the game and people love the personalities of [athletes], but everybody’s different. ”

More highlights from their conversation after the jump.

What does it feel like to score 20,000 points?

It seems like when you’ve done something your whole life and they tell you you’re close to 20,000, you start to realize, wow. Everything that I’ve been doing in my career has really amounted to something. There’s that pinnacle of success that you’ve reached. Then you look around and you see all the other people that have scored 20,000 and the guys you watched growing up. All the great players in the league. It’s an incredible feat.

You’ve got to stay healthy. Longevity is a big key when you reach that milestone.

What did you expect when you came to the NBA?

The NBA wasn’t what I thought it was. When I first came out I was so gung-ho about playing in the NBA. I went in with the right intentions knowing that I wanted to be one the best players. Then when I got here I realized there were a lot of grown men and if you want to be successful you have to get more out of it. It was just play time.

You don’t just go play basketball. Most college players come out and they think, ‘Wow, I get to just play basketball. No class. No coach looking over me and making sure that I go to that class on time.’ The NBA is not that. There’s so much dead time and you have to figure out if you want to be a great player, what you do with that dead time to make yourself a great player. I realized that early.

Are you humbled when you see names that you’re passing on the scoring list?

It’s very humbling. It’s also exciting. You look at what you potentially can do and where you can go with it. At this point in our careers, you see the names you’re going to pass. Now you say, ‘Wow.’ If I can only play three more years, for more years imagine the names that you pass then.

What were your thoughts last summer?

When you get to Game 7 and you lose it, you just get to a point where it was a July and I was maybe a week and a half, two weeks removed from Game 7 and I still couldn’t get over it. I was still moping around. I wasn’t expecting to be anywhere else. I needed that feeling back, to reach the top of our profession, going back to that Game 7, but having it in Boston.

There was so much hubbub made about what LeBron [James] was doing and what Amar’e [Stoudemire] was doing, all the free agents. I was keyed in on Boston. The process is a business and I had to listen to other situations, but my whole focus was to come back. With the team that we had, I’m certain Doc [Rivers] felt the same way. ‘Hey, I’m coaching this team. I don’t want to give this team to someone so they can go and win a championship the next year.’

I want to be a part of this until we run ourselves ragged.

Did any team tempt you?

It’s hard to say. Everybody was waiting for that one domino to fall that was going to create a chain reaction. When I decided I was staying with the team, LeBron announced the next day and I always say that I’m not curious, but I’m glad I did it the way I did it. Because I didn’t have to wait for that next day because there are a lot of teams that lost out in the LeBron sweepstakes. When a team throws a whole lot of money at you, then you’ve got to make a decision.

If I had waited a day or two then things would have been different and they would have thrown a lot of money at me and I would have had to rethink what I was thinking. It wasn’t about the money, but everyone in my corner was saying hold on you’ve got think about this before you make a decision because if this team is offering you something crazy, then at least think about it.

Any regrets?

Nope. Not at all. And I didn’t have to think about that. That’s where I was in control of my destiny and the decision I made, it was easy for me to say, ‘We’re going to come back here and we’re going to make something great happen again, like we did the year before.’

The other thing is, it’s not guaranteed to us. We’re not promised to go back to where we were, but everybody in that locker room, the coaching staff, the organization, everybody’s hell-bent to get back to where we were. But we do it every day. It’s not like we think it’s going to happen, we’re trying to make it happen every day.

We talk about 18, and how it’s all about 18, but at the same time it’s all about one, and that’s the next game that we play.

On the importance of the regular season

We can’t lose sight of our goal, our task. Right now our goal is to be the best regular season team in the NBA. We use that slogan, it’s about 18, but with our fans I want everybody to know: that’s what our intention is, we all have a goal, we all have a focus. But we’ve got to go into that building every night and make sure that one game is the most important game. They’re going to all be that important.

We can’t just think that it’s going to be turned on and off, even [when] we get to the playoffs and we do well, we want to be able to say that we have homecourt advantage through the whole playoffs.

On his charitable work

I feel privileged to give back to the community that I live in and to be able to be philanthropic throughout the world. We have an obligation, so many people support us, to turn that back around and give back to people. One of the best things that I’ve noticed since I’ve been in Boston, there’s tremendous leadership from a philanthropic point of view. You look at our owners, who do great things in the community.

It’s unbelievable. It’s not pulling teeth. Everybody just feels the need to want to give back to the community of Boston. I’m just one guy and the ownership leads by example. So everybody steps up into the community and is able to do things because the community is open to the Celtics and they embrace what we’re willing to do.

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