Allen looks back _ not fondly _ on his time with Bucks

Updated: August 13, 2003, 10:14 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Ray Allen's memories of his days in Milwaukee with George Karl are not fond ones.

"I started despising him," Allen said of Karl, who was fired as coach of the Bucks this summer with one year remaining on his contract. "We sat down a lot, but it always ended up being him talking and me listening."

Allen, in an interview following his practice with the U.S. Olympic qualifying team Wednesday, looked back on the 6{ years he spent with the Bucks before he was dealt to the Seattle SuperSonics in February for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason.

Payton has since departed as a free agent, joining the Los Angeles Lakers, and the executive who made the trade, Ernie Grunfeld, has moved on to a similar front office position with the Washington Wizards.

The last remaining member of Milwaukee's so-called Big Three, point guard Sam Cassell, was dealt to Minnesota this summer in a cost-cutting move that put the Bucks below the NBA's expected luxury tax threshold.

The only remaining members of the Bucks team that reached the Eastern Conference finals just two years ago are Tim Thomas, Michael Redd and Joel Przybilla.

"The only people I feel sorry for in this whole situation is the city of Milwaukee, because potentially the team can be moved if the senator sells the team," Allen said, referring to Bucks owner Herb Kohl. "Glenn (Robinson) gets traded, I get traded and Sam gets traded and the team goes downhill."

Allen averaged 24.5 points in 29 games for the Sonics, with Seattle winning 17 of those games. His old team, Milwaukee, was eliminated 4-2 in the first round by the New Jersey Nets.

An offseason of uncertainty and change thus began for the Bucks, beginning with Kohl exploring the possibility of selling the team to a group that included Michael Jordan.

Karl, speaking last month in Boston when he was still coaching the Bucks, said it was his understanding Kohl backed out of the deal in part because he felt it might damage his long term legacy with the people of Wisconsin.

The trade of Cassell, the loss of Payton, the departure of Grunfeld and the firing of Karl followed.

Karl did not respond to a message left Wednesday with his agent, Bret Adams.

In Allen's opinion, Karl had lost his touch some two or three years earlier.

"George, when he first came to Milwaukee, he was every bit of a players' coach. He listened to us, he responded to things we needed and things we wanted and everyone wanted to play hard for him."

Karl, with the richest contract of any NBA coach ($7 million per season), changed over the course of his tenure, Allen said.

"If we were tired, he made us work harder. If we needed a day off, he made us practice. It always seemed like when something went wrong he'd bash us in the papers. He's go at me, at Sam, at Glenn, and for a time there it was almost like -- from me to him as a coach-player relationship -- I started despising him.

"Every time something went wrong it was Ray's doing this, Ray's doing that. I had to protect the integrity of my skills on the floor, and in stuff I did off the court, and my family had to deal with that as well," Allen said. "My family was walking around saying 'Look what George said about you now.' I got tired of that after a while, and my hatred started growing."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index