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May 30, 2008

Ray Allen

James Posey


Q. Kevin and Paul were talking a little bit about just the three of you coming together, Ray, and how you were able to do that. There was so much talk before the season about the Celtics' glory that you could restore this team to. Why do you think you were able to come together and take this team back to The Finals where it hasn't been since 1987?
RAY ALLEN: Well, for one, we talked about this in the beginning of the year, not just myself and Paul and Kevin, but the whole team. What everybody had done in the past was in the past. We had to do things that were somewhat out of character for a lot of us, but building character towards the team and believing in both sides of the floor as a team and try to figure out the best way to make the team move forward and be good. We all agreed. We all said we'll do what we need to do to make this team better, and we won't come in with our past ideas of how we play basketball.
A lot of players in the league want to do that and they want to be successful doing it their way, but we had to do it the Doc Rivers style of play and his coaching staff, the way they thought was best for us to move forward and win a championship. So we definitely bought into it.

Q. And then the man beside you already has a ring, but the three of you guys out on the floor there, I think they added up the games that you guys have played and none of you have been to a Finals before. What did it mean to you to be out there and sort of catch each other's eye out there on the floor?
RAY ALLEN: Well, he's been here before. I've been in an Eastern Conference Finals, myself, Paul, Sam has a lot of weight behind him, PJ has been in playoffs, I'm not sure if he made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. But there were a couple plays at a couple time-outs, and I just looked at Kevin, and I told Kevin, this is what we've been wanting for 20, 25 years of our life, when we started realizing we wanted to play basketball, and we watched other players come here and win games here and do the things that make history. This is what we wanted; we're here. I look at him, he's one of them, and said, let's bring it home. Let's do what we need to do, this is where we want to be.

Q. For both of you guys: You've taken everybody's best shot this year. I mean, Doc says you guys haven't proven anything yet. But what has that done for this team in situations like tonight when you have to put something in?
JAMES POSEY: I think it's just how we prepared for the season. We got an early start, trying to get to know each other on and off the court. Me coming to this team and seeing superstars like we have in Ray Allen, Paul and KG, they lead by example. They work hard, don't take a day off, and it's all about winning at the end of the day. So we've just been working all season trying to get to this point right now, and it's just been a total commitment from everybody, and we've just been sticking together and weathering the storm. It's not going to be easy, but it shows the character of our team because we continue to work.

Q. You've taken everybody's best shot this year, it's been --
RAY ALLEN: It has. I tell people, when you're on losing teams, it's so much easier throughout the season because you just let certain things fall by the wayside, and being in this situation here on this team, we took losses all year so hard. We always wanted to figure out what we needed to do to get back on track, and I think at the start of the year we went on a roll, and a couple teams thought they knew how to beat us, and a couple teams did beat us and they figured out a game plan, and then we had to readjust.
We never game up, though. It's been tough, and I think everybody's been in situations where somebody at some point of the season has won a big game for us. We've been at points where we had to win games on the defensive end, and some points where we had to win them on the offensive end. But the teams that we played, we've faced so many different obstacles. I think you want to figure out whether we -- we found out if we had character; that was the whole point. We definitely got better throughout the year.

Q. Ray, can you talk about the idea of playing the Lakers and the idea of the tradition of the Celtics-Lakers series in the NBA?
RAY ALLEN: Somebody asked me in the beginning of the year what was it like to be a part of it, and I said, well, we really haven't been a part of it yet because we haven't created our own rivalry, and it would take us to play in The Finals to create that rivalry, and here we are.

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