Allen likes Shaq signing, underdog role

By Pat Eaton-Robb
Associated Press Writer / August 7, 2010

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UNCASVILLE, Conn.—Ray Allen says there is room in Boston for the Big Diesel and the Big Three.

The Celtics guard, speaking Saturday before a charity basketball game in Connecticut, said he believes Shaquille O'Neal is a good fit in Boston's quest to repeat as Eastern Conference champion.

The 7-foot-1, 325-pound center signed a two-year contract worth about $3 million on Wednesday.

"It's definitely interesting to me, because I think he can help us," Allen said. "One of our bad traits this past year was offensive rebounding and rebounding in general, and he's a guy that takes up a lot of space, so I definitely think he can help us."

Allen said he wasn't sure he would be returning to Boston after the NBA finals. A good friend, he said, was even sending him advertisements of houses for sale in Miami.

"I don't think anybody's mind had to be changed," he said. "I think once the dust settled, we all had to understand what our stance was. Everybody took a look and said, 'We still have something good here, and we don't want to give it away.'"

Allen said he's looking forward to the battles with LeBron James and Miami, and likes being in the underdog role, rather than the team with the bulls-eye on its back.

"It was hard in '08 when everyone gave us the trophy every corner that we turned," he said.

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