One of the strangest things about NBA training camps is that a lot of them are held in out-of-the-way places. The Bulls practice in a suburb of Chicago, the Heat are at a military base, the Lakers are in Europe — not your typical basketball meccas. And because these facilities can be in unusual places, things can get pretty wacky sometimes.
Take, for instance, Ray Allen’s new post-practice ritual, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun after a grueling workout. From the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett:
Late in the week, the shooting guard decided to become a walking guard, forgoing the bus and making the multi-mile trek from the campus to the team hotel.
“I don’t know how long it was, but it was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be,” Allen said after closing camp yesterday. “As I was walking, I was enjoying it, but it was long.”
That sounds all kinds of terrible. Even when you’re driving somewhere, that moment when you realize you’ve been traveling a lot longer than you thought you would be is a major bummer. That’s without accounting for the dead legs that must accompany the first week of an NBA training camp. Oh, well. It was a good idea at the time.
At least he had company.
Allen wasn’t lonely, however. About eight or nine cars stopped for autographs as he went. One car lurched toward the curb on Bellevue Avenue, stopping so a youngster could emerge and get something signed.
“I felt like I had people following me the whole way,” he said.
Yeah, maybe staying in practice gear wasn’t the best idea.
“I turned my shirt around backward, so I wouldn’t be too glaring, and then I had the Celtics logo on my shorts so I folded it up,” Allen said. “I thought I could hide a little bit, but the bald head gave me away, I guess.”
Can’t you picture a green and white-clad Ray Allen with an inside-out shirt and obnoxiously rolled-up shorts walking down the street and a crowd of people at his heels? I can, and I am laughing very much at the thought. So silly. Just take the bus, man. Save your papier-mâché ankles.
That being said, old men have been known to take long walks for no real reason. Bad ankles or not, sometimes they just like to stretch their legs every now and again. At least he didn’t get lost. Right, Uncle Al?