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Ray Allen seconds Heat 'bad marriage'

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

PHOENIX -- Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had heard all about it by the time his team was done practicing Thursday, the comments from former Heat guard Ray Allen criticizing the team's end of its Big Three era.

He smiled.

"I actually bumped into him about six, I don't know, weeks ago. I was walking my dog across an intersection in Coconut Grove. He didn't run me over," Spoelstra said amid laughter. "He had an opportunity to. I appreciated that."

No, this was not a subject that Spoelstra expected to be addressing more than three years after the demise of the Heat championship roster of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

But a week after Wade compared his final season alongside James and Bosh with the Heat to a "bad marriage," Allen seconded that notion, casting additional question upon the team's approach to 2013-14.

Allen, who retired after playing for the Heat that season and has continued to live in South Florida, addressed the topic while promoting his new book, "From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love."

Asked about Wade's take on the Heat's rough ride to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, Allen told Sports Illustrated that 2013-14 proved to be a taxing, draining ride.

"It certainly was tough on all of us as players," Allen said of the Heat's failed bid for a third consecutive championship. "Organizationally, I don't think they ever adjusted. Most of the guys, having gone to so many Finals, me being an older player, having played a lot of basketball the last five, six years, organizationally and coaching wise they didn't adjust.

"We had the oldest team in the NBA, and on top of that, we had such a bad schedule. Every holiday we were away from home. Every situation we were in we were fighting to just stay above board, trying to figure out how to sleep or rest our bodies. We wore down, we were tired, and we were definitely tired at the end. We still were good, and we still made it to the Finals."

Allen stepped away from the Heat after that season because of the team's turn toward youth in the wake of James' July 2014 free-agency decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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