|Allen to file grievance for suspension||04.15.09 at 7:22 pm ET|
Celtics guard Ray Allen will file a grievance with the NBA in response to his suspension for elbowing Cleveland Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao in the groin on Sunday. He sat out Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I talked to Stu Jackson (Executive Vice President, NBA Basketball Operations) and he really didn’t give me a great explanation, or one that I thought rationalized why I was suspended out of the game and there was no infraction on the other guy,” he said prior to Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards. “I felt as though it was unjust but I can’t do anything about it.”
Allen’s strict pregame routine was interrupted around 12:30pm on Tuesday afternoon by the news of his suspension. He had just finished ironing his suit and was getting ready to order room service when he got the word that he could not play. The explanation — and interruption — did not sit well with him.
“He (Jackson) said that it looked like I hit him in the groin and that hitting a player in the groin is an automatic suspension,” Allen said. “And I told him I wasn’t, if you could tell by my body language — and I didn’t see the play until the game last night — but from what I was told, I didn’t land where you said I landed because if the guy didn’t cringe or he didn’t bowl over, obviously I didn’t hit him. It was just my reaction being thrown to the ground. And I told him, I said that if somebody’s on you for a rebound, the first thing you do is throw your elbows up. That’s just how you protect yourself. It wasn’t intentional.”
The suspension comes a week after being presented with the Red Auerbach Award, which exemplifies what it means to be a Boston Celtic.
Allen pointed out, “I said, ‘My track record is of one that hasn’t been intentional to do anything of that nature, so I thought all of those things should have been taken into account and obviously they weren’t.”
|More than a flopper||04.12.09 at 7:13 pm ET|
Anderson Varejao has been called a flopper. He has been called emotional. But the Celtics’ front office has another name for him.
“He’s a beast, though,” Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca said on Celtics Now. “He’s a beast.”
Varejao made an impression when he worked out with the Celtics prior to the 2004 NBA Draft. Even though they decided to go with Al Jefferson a the 15th pick (Varejao was later picked up by Cleveland at the 30th spot), his workout was still memorable five years later.
“We tried him out for the Celtics and I thought we had to stop the tryout because he was going to kill somebody,” Pagliuca said. “He was hacking. I thought our players were in jeopardy. He’s a very physical player.”
That day stood out to Varejao as well. He recalls going hard against David Harrison, who was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 29th pick that summer.
“It was a very physical workout. I remember that,” Varejao said. “It was pretty physical and that’s what I like. I like to play like that and that’s why he probably remembers me.”
There is no ignoring Varejao this season. He averaged 11 points and 7.8 rebounds in four regular season games against the Celtics. The pairing of 6-foot-11 Varejao and 7-foot-3 Zydrunas Ilgauskas has stifled the Cs down low without Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, and Brian Scalabrine.
He made another impression on the Celtics on Sunday when he rattled the even-keeled Ray Allen. (Click here for a recap of the Cavaliers 107-76 victory.) They got tangled up trying to box one another out at the line and Allen ended up on the ground. After Allen dealt Varejao an elbow on his way back up, both were called for technical fouls.
“He’s kind of an energy, hard-hitting player,” Pagliuca said.
No kidding. Even though a language barrier prevented Brazilian-born Varejao from receiving compliments from Pagliuca at the time, he still appreciates them five years after his workout.
“That means a lot to me,” he said. “It means a lot because hearing that from somebody who’s in the situation that he’s in right now, and he’s still talking about me, it means a lot. I just want to say thanks for his words.”