Anthony (Tony) Allen was born on January 11, 1982 in Chicago, Illinois. 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. 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.
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.
The nature of Tony’s old neighborhood was brought to national light in an October 2005 incident. During a trip home, violence broke out in a restaurant/night spot where Tony was celebrating the Celtics signing Will Bynum, who was one of his high school teammates. One person’s orbital bone was broken and another was injured by a bullet. Two of those injured in the scuffle filed civil lawsuits against Tony. Despite being able to get away from the violence, it seems that Tony was being drawn back in by it. 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. The lawsuits hung over him for almost 2 years until he was finally cleared of the charges in April of 2007.
After a rookie year full of promise, his second season was derailed by his 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. 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.”
This past season, Tony's third, he finally was turning the corner and was putting those stretches together. Pierce went down with the injury and Tony picked up the slack and was playing the best ball of his career. He had a string of 7 games where he was the high scorer and had over 20 points in each game. Then, on January 10, against the Indiana Pacers, Tony had already scored 19 points and went up for a dunk after he had drawn a foul and crumbled to a heap on the floor with a torn ACL. He missed the rest of the season and the team missed the player who had become their leader.
There is a funny story about the injury though. Even though in pain, Tony kept his spirits up and his sense of humor. Brian Scalabrine had also been injured in the game and after the game, Scal drove Tony and his mother to the hospital. When Tony's mother questioned this and asked if they shouldn't get an ambulance or something, Tony said, "No Mom, this is better than an ambulance. This is Scal."
Reports are that his rehab is going great. He has been cleared to play and he should be ready for training camp and may even play in the preseason. This is very good news for the Celtics because a healthy Tony Allen would be a crucial piece in a championship bound team.
Tony has been cleared to play and has been working out with his teammates in preparation for the season. He has described his knee as about 70% and feels that when he is healthy, he can make the Big Three into the Big Four. Here is a short interview from FSN:
Obstructed View: How's the knee? TA: "It can't get any better. I feel great." Obstructed View: You excited for the season, man? TA: "I'm fired up man. The biggest thing of the entire off-season was just to stay focused on the task at hand and get ready for the upcoming season." Obstructed View: Have you been working out with the Big Ticket? TA: "Yeah, I finally got a few scrimmages with him but nothing too serious yet. I'm looking forward to getting back to 100% and out on the court full speed."
Tony's play could be crucial to our championship hopes. He is a lock down defender on the wing and can slash to the basket and seemingly score at will when he is healthy. We can all look forward to his getting back to 100% because when he does, we are in for some exciting times.