Tony Allen will soon be on trial for assault charges. Danny is waiting to pick up his option until he knows how that trial ends up. There is no doubt that a healthy Tony Allen could be a real difference maker for this team. Today we take a look at Tony in our Profiles series.
Anthony (Tony) Allen was born on January 11, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois. Allen attended Crane High School in Chicago, where he was a basketball standout.
Tony Allen came from a part of Chicago, where he says that all of his high-school friends are either dead or in jail. While Tony was able to get out, by playing juco basketball, his troubled history brought a temper and impatience to his game. But Tony played hard - hard enough for Eddie Sutton to notice him. And so, while Tony couldn’t get into a Division I program out of high school, OSU offered him a second chance. That second chance ultimately led Tony to a trip to the Final Four, a college degree, and a place in the NBA.
Tony is a 6'4" shooting guard who played for Oklahoma State University, where he was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year his senior year, after averaging 16 points per game and leading his team to the Final Four. He became the first player in OSU history to score 1,000 career points in just two seasons. He graduated Oklahoma State with a degree in education.
The nature of Tony’s old neighborhood was recently brought to national light. During a recent trip home, violence broke out in a restaurant/night spot where Tony was. One person’s orbital bone was broken and another was injured by a bullet. Two of those injured in the scuffle have filed civil lawsuits against Tony. His trial is scheduled for later this month. Despite being able to get away from the violence, it seems that Tony is being drawn back in. This time, his success at OSU and the resulting financial security that resulted have given Tony the resources to keep from being brought down by it.
After graduating, he entered the NBA draft and was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round, with the 25th pick overall. In his rookie year he had 6.4 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game, and ranked 3rd in the NBA for steals per 48 minutes, with 2.89. He was selected to play for the rookies in the got milk? Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend, along with fellow Celtics rookie Al Jefferson.
After a rookie year full of promise, his second season was derailed by legal troubles and knee surgery. The ongoing legal battles over the Chicago incident had to be a distraction for him. Along with the legal woes, Tony injured his knee and had to have surgery on it. There was a lot of conjecture as to how he hurt the knee since he dominated in Summer League. It was rumored that it was injured in the scuffle in Chicago that led to the charges filed against him. He seemed to struggle when first coming back from surgery and didn't have the explosiveness or the lateral movement that made him such a great defender and so exciting to watch the year before. Finally, after the All Star break, Tony seemed to be getting back to normal and had several very productive games, once again showing the promise that he had shown the previous year.
After the season, Danny Ainge announced that Allen would again have minor surgery on his knee to clean out more of the damage that was still bothering him. In a couple of weeks, he will have his trial on the battery charges in Chicago. Danny picked up the options for all of the players except Tony, choosing to wait until after the trial to be sure that everything is ok on that front.
Doc Rivers once predicted, “Tony, I believe, is going to be a hell of a player. Easily. I mean for a long time. I think you can see little stretches of it. When he gets the ability to put those together, I believe he’s going to be special player. I do.”
Another player raised in a single parent home, Tony was raised by his mother Ella Allen. He has two sisters, Ebony and Dominique, and a brother, Ryan. In his spare time, Tony Allen enjoys listening to music, and is considered somewhat of a music "connoisseur" by his Celtic teammates. He also frequently assists the Celtics in charity work in and around the Boston area. Tony has said that when he retires from basketball he would like to become a teacher.
Tony Allen plays lock-down defense, harasses his opponents into turnovers in the open court and ranks as the Celtics best one-on-one defender. Nicknamed 'TA', he returned from an off-season knee injury in the second half of the 2005-2006 season and looks primed for a breakout year in 2006-07.
Tony is going to have a battle on his hands to keep his title as best one on one defender now that Rondo is on the team, but if he is healthy and his legal troubles are settled, he could very well have a break out year and surprise a lot of people.
My man, TA!! I just really appreciate his all around abilities. Such a smooth athlete, and a very explosive one prior to his surgery. I hope he regains most of it, if not all of it, this offseason. Glad to hear that he's been working out at Waltham for most of this summer. I want the coaching staff to work closely with him to 1) show him what they specifically want him to improve in, and 2) keep him away from trouble.
TA is in the same boat as Telfair and Rondo; if he gains a steady jumper, he's a deadly player. TA is a terrific penetrator and can finish plays at the rim. But being able to stop and pop a midrange jumper, as well as hitting open perimeter jumpers from a set position will make him almost impossible to stop.
Plus, he's got some playmaking skills, though he needs to sharpen his ball handling first.
I like the idea of putting him on the court with Telfair and Rondo; simply because their athleticism and creativity allow them to do fascinating things on the court. He and Rondo make a dangerous defensive combination in the backcourt. Its almost like guaranteeing a steal and 2 fastbreak points on every play.
Hope the legal issues turn out to be old news, and hope TA comes back strong from his knee surgery, and becomes a big time player for us.