By PAT EATON-ROBB   Associated Press
STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen says he’s
ready to give up the season if necessary to the NBA lockout.
Speaking Thursday before an appearance at the University of
Connecticut, his alma mater, Allen said he doesn’t want to have to
sit out a season this late in his career, but believes the issues
are important to the future of the game.

“Nobody wants to miss a year,” he said. “But I’m prepared to
do what the team needs me to do, what my players association,
players union team, what they need me to do, because we want to
make sure we get the right deal for us.”

Allen is entering what would be his 16th NBA season with 22,286
points, 24th in league history. Last season, he set the NBA record
for 3-point field goals in a career with 2,612.
He said he’s not considering retirement and has been working out
with members of the UConn basketball team.

“I always, typically, come up here in September anyway,” he
said. “But obviously, due to not being able to work out in my gym,
this is my gym of choice.
“Being around the young guys, they push me physically and
mentally,” he added. “So, I look forward to being up here and
trying to be up here as much as I can.”

Allen said the idea that Connecticut could leave the Big East
Conference is a hard pill for him to swallow, but believes the
school needs to do what it must to ensure it continues to have one
of the nation’s top basketball programs. The Connecticut men have
won three national championships, the women have won seven.

“We have to stay on par with the other schools around the
country, because we do feel like we’re the standard by which
college basketball should be measured _ men and women’s
basketball,” he said. “So however we need to do it to stay on top
of that. Because we need to continue to get the players to keep
this university going and moving in the right direction and win the

He also said he would love seeing Connecticut in the Atlantic
Coast Conference, where it could play Duke twice a year.
“They are another program that shares the same tradition, the
same legacy of basketball, great players having come through and
having a Hall of Fame coach at the helm,” he said. “It only
raises or heightens the awareness, the traditions of college
basketball. And, you know you’ve got North Carolina in the
conference, so that creates some devastating, scary matchups.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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