Allen on not starting: 'Coach says that now'
BURLINGTON CITY, N.J. – Lavoy Allen heard his coach. He’s just not worried about it.
Earlier this off-season, the Sixers signed free agent center Kwame Brown to a two-year deal worth $6 million, with the second year being a player option.
Brown, of course, is the former first-overall pick who never lived up to the expectations that came when David Stern said his name first. But the Sixers took a chance on Brown and head coach Doug Collins plans on starting him to begin training camp.
“Kwame will do all the heavy lifting and play against the big centers,” Collins said several weeks ago (see story)
. “And then we come off the bench with Royal Ivey, Nick Young, Thad and Lavoy.”
Allen, who became a starter in last year’s playoffs, heard his coach’s plan to start Brown and Spencer Hawes in the frontcourt, but he isn’t worried.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Allen said while at an appearance for a basketball showcase at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in South Jersey on Saturday afternoon. “You never know what can happen once training camp rolls around. You don’t know who’s going to do what. Coach says that now, but you never know what he’s thinking. He switched the lineup many times last year.”
While Brown came into his NBA career with monumental expectations, Allen was the 50th pick in last year’s draft. He’s a local kid who went to Temple and became a local star. There weren’t high expectations for his rookie season. But by the end of the year, Allen worked his way into a starting role and became the starting center for the Sixers in the playoffs.
Allen averaged 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds during the regular season, but in the playoffs, once he was a starter, averaged 6.3 and 4.9 respectively. He might not be the starting center heading into the season but Allen said that’s still his goal.
“Yeah, I pretty much think that’s everyone’s mindset going into training camp,” he said. “Everyone is a competitor -- me, Nik [Vucevic], Thad [Young], the two rookies coming in. I know those guys will compete, too. We all want to play.”
The Sixers’ frontcourt includes Brown, Arnett Moultrie (6-foot-10, 230), Hawes (7-foot-1, 245), Allen (6-foot-9, 225), Vucevic (7-foot-0, 240), and Young (6-foot-8, 220).
Allen was at the church’s gymnasium on Saturday morning as kids ages 7-18 played in a free showcase. South Jersey native and Sacramento King Jason Thompson and Rider University head coach Kevin Baggett were also in attendance.
Allen said he’s been working on several things to improve his game this off-season. He also said his confidence is higher than it was last year. And, he thinks he did enough to earn a starting job.
“I think I gave the coaches confidence,” Allen said. “But, you know, we have a lot of guys at the four and five spots. Anybody can play. It’s all about going into training camp and getting ready to show them your best.”E-mail Dave Zangaro at firstname.lastname@example.org