Allen shared his sentiments in an interview with The Athletic:
“Toss-up between Sam Cassell and LeBron James. Sam was a guy you wanted to go to battle with. He wouldn’t quit on you and do whatever he could. He never wore bad body language. LeBron is a guy who you’ll have fun with, he’ll compete with you, but he is always one of the guys. He never made himself bigger than the next man.”
Allen is being enshrined in the Hall of Fame at ceremonies in Springfield, Mass. on Friday.
Miami won an NBA title with Allen in 2013 and was downed by the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals in 2014.
His tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining in Game 6 saved the 2013 Finals for the Heat and has gone down as one of the most memorable shots in Finals history. The Heat went on to win in overtime and then took Game 7 to claim the championship.
Allen says of the shot:
“I don’t rate my shots, but it was special. There are so many shots that I have been a part of. The shot is one thing, but I know what I have done to get in that position. The things that happen in practice mean more to me than anything. The games are what fans see, but practices are really how I was made.”
Allen spent four full seasons with Cassell on the Milwaukee Bucks earlier in his career before the two briefly reunited on the Boston Celtics’ 2008 championship squad as Cassell’s career was winding down.
Allen’s praise of former teammates does not extend to his time with the Celtics, as reports of his feuding with ex-teammates Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo have garnered heavy attention leading up to his Hall of Fame induction.
When asked by The Athletic‘s Shams Charania if he will talk to or be congratulated by Garnett, Rondo or even Paul Pierce, who he says he has made up with in recent years, Allen replied:
“No, I don’t expect to.”