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Tony Allen: Unrestricted Free Agent - The Writing is on the Wall

I expected James Posey to opt out of his contract and he did yesterday.  That same article reveals some other Boston Celtics related free agent news:
"One move was made last night when the franchise failed to make Tony Allen a qualifying offer, thus making the guard an unrestricted free agent, according to his agent, Mike Higgins." - Marc J. Spears
This interested me for three reasons:

1. As Spears noted the Celtics sent some strong signals once they drafted and traded for J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker respectively.

2. I find "the the franchise failed to make Tony Allen a qualifying offer" wording funny as if it was accidental. It's not like the time Terrell Owens' camp messed up his impending free agency. Although that appears to be the industry standard.

3. It looks like the Tony Allen era is over. And a long, strange trip it has been. First off you should know that I'm a huge fan of guys that throw down dunks in meaningless summer league games. It is what it is. But Allen was different. The Celtics were not particularly good during his rookie season but that did not stop Allen from assaulting the rim. I think he only had two goals - defend on the perimeter and slam home rebounds. Of course he struggled with setbacks - a knee injury and the incident at the White Palace Grill - during his sophomore campaign. Those struggles carried over into his third season where he got off to a slow start and even prompted Tommy Heinsohn to call for a 3-dribble rule. However, he then got white hot for a truly atrocious team. The highlight of that stretch had to be the Salmon and Mashed Potatoes Game. And then this happened. Unfortunately he was never quite the same, playing the entire 2008 season with a bulky knee brace. On top of that there were numerous plays where Celtics fans had to think - he just doesn't have that old explosiveness. Although to be fair on that fateful night of his knee injury Allen fought threw the adversity to say the following to his mother as Brian Scalabrine drove them to the hospital, "This this is better than an ambulance. This is Scal!" Still fantastic.

To be honest I should not I care, given the fact I never entirely trusted Allen, particularly when he dribbled. Consider this post, which I wrote upon hearing rumors that he might start a post season game. Ultimately it has to be because he showed flashes of excellent play. Furthermore, I had to find ways to enjoy watching the Celtics as they continued to lose more and more games each season. Ultimately there were a bunch of guys - Allen, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Delonte West - that I wanted to see make it. And if you look at that list only 2 really did not - Allen and Green.

Hey maybe I'm wrong and Allen does return. But I'd be lying if I argued that his destination was as important as James Posey's. Still I always rooted for him and I wish him the best now. And in the end there will always be this:

Tony Allen with the wicked reverse Ally-oop Game 6 (via creativetfh)

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