When LeBron James returned home to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the summer of 2014 after four seasons in Miami, he wanted to bring Ray Allen with him.
Allen, the sharpshooting guard who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics in 2008 before joining James in Miami, won a ring with James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh with the Heat in 2013.
When James opted to head back to Northeast Ohio, he did his best to recruit Allen, the 18-year veteran to join him.
One problem, though — the Cavaliers didn’t think much of the idea.
Allen detailed that free-agency period in his new book, From the Outside: My Journey through Life and the Game I Love, which is due to be released March 27.
“Once LeBron chose the Cavs, I knew I would not be returning to Miami. The question was: would I follow him to Cleveland? He did his best to convince me, and I think he probably got tired of trying. If only management valued me as much as he did; the Cavs offered me next to nothing.”
Cleveland was not alone in offering Allen much of a deal, he notes, saying the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies and Milwaukee Bucks offered him league-minimum deals. Only the Houston Rockets offered him a contract for more than the league minimum with the hopes of winning an NBA title.
“I knew they did not have a chance,” Allen writes.
Houston lost to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals that season, 4-1. Allen says watching the Cavaliers, playing without the injured Kevin Love ad Kyrie Irving in The Finals in 2015 was the first time he wished he was still out on the court.
In 2016, Allen reportedly reached out fo the Cavaliers, expressing an interest to return to playing, but nothing materialized, and he remained retired.
Allen finished with a career average of 18.9 points, while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.