They may be leading their series with Chicago, but the Boston Celtics are having a bitch of a first round in the NBA Playoffs. First, Kevin Garnett’s knee put him out of commission for the entire playoffs, then Leon Powe blew out his own knee, then Rajon Rondo’s ankle began to betray him - he was carried off the court after the Celtics crushed the Bulls on Thursday. But at least those guys are, y’know, alive.
(Don’t laugh; the towel is bulletproof.)
That’s not so assured for Tony Allen, though. Even though the team is in his hometown of Chicago, he’s probably thinking they can’t get out of there fast enough; according to the BOSTON HERALD, Allen has been receiving death threats since his return home. Unfortunately, it looks like the threats are fueled by the most dangerous of human emotions: revenge.
Two Chicago sources familiar with Allen and his hometown associates - past and present - yesterday connected a group of Allen associates to a fatal shooting in the parking lot of the famous Rock ’n’ Roll McDonald’s last August.
The group had been attending a birthday party for former Celtic Antoine Walker at the downtown club Excalibur when a fight occurred, extending into the McDonald’s parking lot.
Curtis Ellis, 25, was killed, and another person riding in the same car with Ellis was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.
That, of course, is an “association” that Allen needs to step away from immediately; even if he weren’t as high-profile as an NBA player (and all the money that comes with that), he cannot be placing his life and livelihood in danger on behalf of some friends. Loyalty cannot be a suicide pact.
Worse yet, these friends have a history of violent behavior, a history that intertwines with Allen’s own:
According to both sources, this is the same group that was with Allen when the Celtics guard had an early morning fight with Marktwain Johnson and Nigel Odum in a Chicago restaurant in August 2005.
Though Allen was charged with aggravated battery, the charges from the 2005 incident were later dismissed.
So it’s not exactly clear whether Allen’s threats stem from the fight or the murder (or, even more troubling, for something else that we don’t know about yet), but there’s some bad blood waiting for him in Chicago.
Wanting said bad blood to disappear is probably too much to ask for; that’s just not the way human nature operates. We can hope, however, that whoever wants Allen dead doesn’t have a chance - or the spine - to act on it.