SEATTLE -- Ray Allen said Thursday that he regretted the
fight that got both the Seattle SuperSonics guard and Orlando's
Keyon Dooling ejected Wednesday, but Allen said he had no choice
but to defend himself against Dooling.
The NBA is expected to rule on punishment for both players as early as Friday.
Allen and Dooling got into a scuffle with 10:53 left in the
second quarter and Seattle holding a 33-24 lead.
"I definitely regret what happened ... but it seemed as though
it was unavoidable," Allen told reporters on Thursday. "It was
almost like I was attacked and, you know, I responded in a way that
I think any individual, any man or woman, would respond," said
Allen, who is known for his calm demeanor.
"Most people thought that I was this kind, even tempered,
mild-mannered individual -- and I am for the most part -- but there
is a line. My buttons can be pushed."
After Orlando's Jameer Nelson missed, Allen pulled down the
rebound and replays showed that he caught a glancing blow in the
chin from Dooling's forearm.
At the other end of the floor, the two collided as Seattle ran a
set play and Allen appeared to give Dooling a short elbow to the
chest. Dooling went running at Allen and pushed him to the ground.
Allen got up and tackled Dooling into the first row of seats along
the sideline and onto some fans.
The two briefly scuffled and television replays showed Dooling
throwing a punch at Allen that did not connect. The two were
eventually separated with Orlando's Stacey Augmon pulling Allen
away from Dooling.
Underneath the stands, Dooling briefly ran toward the Sonics
locker room and was seen yelling at Allen, but team officials and
police kept the two apart.
"Basketball is an emotional game," Dooling said on Wednesday
night. "Sometimes you don't think, you just react and tonight was
one of those nights."
Dooling was scoreless in three minutes of play, while Allen had
just one point in eight minutes.
Seattle Coach Bob Hill wouldn't predict potential discipline, but did say
he thought Dooling should be out for "a while."
"I thought Ray did the right thing staying on the ground and
Dooling came back at him. At some point you have to protect
yourself," Hill said.
"I thought Ray handled it as well as he could. And if Ray
didn't handle himself that way, I'd say it," he said.