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Ray Allen says a team’s city isn’t a big factor in choosing where to play

Jul 9, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT

Miami Heat's Allen and James slap hands during the second half of Game 4 of their NBA first round playoff series in Milwaukee Reuters

The notion that Ray Allen would leave Miami to go play in Cleveland would seem to be a bit of a stretch, even if it meant accompanying LeBron James to contend for a title in a brand new location.

The weather, beaches, nightlife and real estate in that particular part of Florida are all far more desirable than those same things in Cleveland, in almost any objective observer’s eyes.

But somewhat surprisingly, the location of the franchise may not mean what we think it does to every NBA player. It’s certainly not a consideration for Allen, who explained that life in the NBA is largely the same no matter your specific team’s home town.

From Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

And while Allen has clearly enjoyed his time in Miami—recently deciding to buy the house that he’d been renting—he downplayed the importance of a franchise’s location.

“It’s great because we get to live in great weather and this is an awesome city to live in, but for the most part, we don’t partake in living in Miami the majority of the year because you are traveling and you’re trying to stay off your feet,” Allen said. “I played in Milwaukee, you know; it was cold, you didn’t go outside. I played in Seattle; it rained a lot. So most of the cities in the NBA, at the end of the day, you do the same things consistently throughout. We do have the opportunity to go out and eat at night and be able to enjoy it on off days, but there are so many other things to consider.”

Allen’s right, in that during the season, your time is largely dominated by team-related duties. And for a more mature player near the end of his career, those ancillary things don’t mean as much as they do to someone younger who may be looking to take advantage of their NBA status.

What’s clear is that Allen’s experiences in poor-weather, small-market cities aren’t exactly going to scare him away from finishing his career in a place like Cleveland — especially if it means contending for one last title playing alongside James.

  1. cbking05 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    I could see LeBron in a Cleveland Jersey …

  2. 4thquartermagic - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    “A move from Miami to Cleveland, for example, wouldn’t be so bad.”

    It actually would. But I get what you’re saying.

  3. campcouch - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Poor weather. It snows during the winter. Pleasant springs, warm summers and comfortable falls. It snows on a lot places on Earth and yet people continue to live in those places. Give the idea of weather a rest.

    • BrownsTown - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Old people are usually the only ones I hear complaining about the weather. I guess a lot of old people contribute to this site.

      • balsagna - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        Us clevelanders pride ourself on handling the weather. I’m in virginia now and it’s hilarious when it snows it’s like a defcon alert

  4. antistratfordian - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    For him, at least.

  5. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    So add Ray Allen to Wade, Bosch, and Anthony to the groupies trying to get with Lebron James.

  6. joshm5683 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    I don’t think city is a huge factor. I think situation and winning are more important. However, if situations being almost equal, then yes location will come into play. Look at OKC, guys will go there because they’re winning and its a good situation, if Durant and Westbrook are gone, it’ll be a lot harder to get people to come. Same can be said if Jabari Parker turns out to be a great player with the Greek, people will go there as well.

    • kinggw - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      OKC is not a great example. They havent attracted any big name free agents since their arrival. Granted they have Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka taking up most of the cap space, but they havent drawn a big time free agent. Caron Butler might have been the biggest one.

      It’s not the only factor, but the team’s location matters. It might not matter to a 38 year old guy with a family on the cusp of retirement. It matters to younger in their mid to late twenties.

      • joshm5683 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Definitely a fair argument. The best counter I can offer to that is Pau Gasol this year. Sure he isn’t in his prime anymore, but he has a lot of interest around the league. Do you think without a winning culture he’d even grant them a sit down?

        Also agree as far as night life and activities to do if you’re younger vs older. Prime example is Greg Jennings from the Vikings says he loves Minneapolis and plans on living there after retiring, but he also is a bit older and has a family.

        I think night life does come into play, but when you have that much money you can really do anything you want. I still don’t believe night life is a deciding factor, even for these guys who are admittedly sometimes not the brightest.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        Josh, Pau hasn’t signed with OKC, in fact, most of the reports I’ve read say that the city might be a deterrent for Pau because he does like the bigger city life.

  7. kso1234 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Surprise sports media! They travel basically 8 months of the year! Then vacation 1-2 months. They “live” in these places purely as a statement of good faith, while most maintain homes elsewhere. Just because the city isn’t a place media members want to travel to, doesn’t make it a place players don’t want to “live” or play. Ex: Shaq’s house in Orlando

  8. lenbias34pt - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    It would have seemed the furthest thing from the truth just a few months ago, but if Lebron wants to win he’ll go to Cleveland especially if they can trade Wiggins for Love.

    Certainly opinions will vary, but consider Waiters, T Thompson, Bennett, Zeller, Irving and Wiggins are all guys only getting better. The Heat are filled with guys only getting worse.
    Hell the Cavs will have a darn good team this season WTHOUT Lebron, if they are coached up a bit and guys mature on their natural course.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      They just lost Zeller. But I do agree, it would be very interesting if they traded Wiggins (and fillers) for Kevin Love.

  9. azarkhan - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    He’s 38 and desperate for one more multimillion dollar payday. Of course he’s willing to play anywhere.

  10. watermelon1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Ray Allen wants to put that Lakers yellow or Knicks blue jersey on just to see what it’s all about.

  11. pike573 - Jul 9, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Ray is a military brat. I’m sure he lived in some crappy places growing up.

  12. eugenesaxe1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Translation: I’ll play anywhere I can leech off of LBJ for a title.

  13. campcouch - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:15 PM

    Military brats are adaptable to any place. Being uprooted every 2-5 years isn’t new to this guy. Besides he played at UConn, in Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston. Not exactly the balmiest places on Earth. I’m sure his home in Miami is looking nice for retirement, but for now he’s working and looking at James as the best opportunity to succeed no matter where he lands.

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