One free agent that seems to be wavering between retirement and a return to the NBA is Ray Allen, who hasn’t played since the 2014 NBA Finals, but remains available for teams to pursue and keep the cards close to his chest.
I haven’t said anything about that and I won’t officially retire. Because if something came to the table, contractually and situational-ly, I want to be able to take a strong look at it. I don’t want to be that guy that says he’s retiring and then is coming back. (Via Hartford Courant)
Allen has been courted by almost half the league. Any team that felt like it had a shot at challenging the NBA title last season picked up the phone, This offseason wasn’t different. Obviously, the names mostly mentioned are the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, but if Allen would make himself fully available by declaring that he’s coming back after something of a sabbatical, it would be more than just those we mentioned.
But does he even want to come back? After playing for 18 seasons that included making the NBA Finals four times and winning two titles, is there anything left in the tank? While there might be personal, individual milestones he feels like he hasn’t achieved, Allen isn’t going to do anything better than he did in the past. Not when he’s 40 and aging.
I didn’t miss it. I realized how much time I missed not being home with my kids. I probably missed it in the Finals. Watching Cleveland and Golden State play, it just seemed like an epic battle that required a lot of precision on the floor and that’s when I felt, that was probably the only time that I felt like, ‘Man, I should have been out there.’
For now, Allen is busy considering his educational options. He wants to complete his communications degree almost 20 years “too late” after leaving UConn in 1996 when he was drafted and joined the Milwaukee Bucks. This isn’t just about some personal achievement. Allen has said in the past that he doesn’t want to coach after retirement, but he likes having options, and seeing former teammates like Kevin Ollie and Scott Burrell take up head coaching jobs in college might push him in that direction eventually.