|Tuesday, May 13
Allen's message: Be true to yourself
SEATTLE -- Whether he's discussing a disputed call with a referee, working with teammates or reading books to elementary school students, Ray Allen lets one principle guide his behavior.
Just be yourself.
"Some people don't like you. Some people love you. Some people will hate you,'' the Seattle SuperSonics' shooting guard said Tuesday. "Just be true to yourself, be true to the game and be true to your family.''
Allen, a three-time All-Star, received the Joe Dumars Trophy as the winner of the NBA's sportsmanship award.
He was asked during a news conference what it means to be a good sport. Allen recalled being elbowed in the chest -- and frustrated -- by Alonzo Mourning during his early years in the league.
"At first, I didn't understand,'' Allen said. "In the NBA, you have to play your hardest, but off the court you're still good friends. You can never lose respect for your teammates or the referees.''
"There are a lot of guys in the league who do their jobs well,'' Allen said. "I pride myself on doing my job well while also representing myself, my family and my teammates with pride and respect.''
Allen joined Seattle in a Feb. 20 trade for Gary Payton. Allen is the second Sonics player to win the sportsmanship award, following Hersey Hawkins in 1998-99.
"Ray is a solid guy, a very confident man in what he does on and off the court,'' said Sonics coach Nate McMillan, who played with Hawkins. "Today, he's being awarded for it. Hopefully, it will rub off on some of our younger players.''