Ray Allen Gets $70M Extension
MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Guard Ray Allen signed a $70.9 million, six-year extension today, becoming the highest-paid player in Milwaukee Bucks history.
``For a coach, my job is to piece this thing together,″ new coach George Karl said at a news conference to announce Allen’s extension. ``And now I’ve got a very big piece.″
Allen negotiated directly with team owner Herb Kohl, the senior senator from Wisconsin.
Allen, who saved a 4 percent commission _ $2,836,000 _ that he would have had to pay an agent, said Kohl agreed to pay him the maximum salary allowed a third-year player by the new collective bargaining agreement: $9 million to start, with annual raises of 12.5 percent.
That works out to $70.9 million over six years, the same contract recently signed by Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Antoine Walker, all three-year stars who would have been eligible for free agency after this season.
Allen didn’t want to become a free agent, where he wouldn’t have been able to make as much money anyway, according to the new collective bargaining agreement.
But with his budding movie career _ he starred alongside Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s ``He Got Game,″ last year, many felt he’d rather live in New York or Los Angeles.
``I didn’t want to,″ Allen said. ``Milwaukee is not a big market but you can create that here. Utah did it with Karl Malone and John Stockton. Green Bay has done it with Brett Favre.″
Although Allen didn’t have an agent, he did hire celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran at $500 an hour to look over the contract.
He also had a business manager, an accountant and his personal lawyer, collectively known as ``Team Allen,″ to make sure the deal was to his liking.
Allen’s deal surpasses the $68.25 million contract that Glenn Robinson got as the top pick in the 1994 NBA draft.
Allen met with Kohl late last month and said he was satisfied not only with the offer but with the owner’s commitment to building a championship contender in Milwaukee.
Karl was delighted that Allen worked without an agent, saying last week ``contract negotiations are simple stuff now.″
Karl also said it didn’t concern him that Allen might get bogged down with money matters instead of the business of playing basketball.
``You all think negotiating a big contract is bothersome,″ Karl said, chuckling. ``It’s fun negotiating to be rich.″