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Allen Goes One on One and Gets $70.9 Million

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Ray Allen signed a six-year, $70.9-million contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The pact is nearly identical to those of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Antoine Walker.

The big difference is that Allen won’t have to fork over a 4% commission--$2,836,000--to an agent.

“I don’t need somebody skimming millions off the top,” said Allen, who chose instead to pay a team of lawyers, a business manager and an accountant at an hourly rate of up to $500.

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Allen negotiated directly with team owner Herb Kohl, the senior senator from Wisconsin, because the NBA’s new labor accord sets limits on what players can earn based on years of service.

Allen 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%.

That made Allen the highest-paid player in team history, surpassing the $68.25-million contract that Glenn Robinson received as the top pick in the 1994 draft.

Allen is not only wealthy, he’s wise, said Buck Coach George Karl.

Karl contends that agents are superfluous now for rookies, who have a salary scale, and stars such as Allen.

“There’s got to be a movement maybe from agent to business advisor to marketing advisor to merchandiser to accountant,” Karl said. “I just think Ray should be complimented. If he’s not the first, he’s the first I know of who has done this big a deal pushing aside the pressures of hiring a big-name agent. And I think he’s done it with a lot of class and style. I think he’s shown a lot of people that you may not need agents.”

Allen said he’s already been queried about his no-agent approach by Minnesota’s Sam Mitchell, “and he said it was real smart.”

“It’s only smart for me and any other guy who might be in my situation who’s going to negotiate a new deal with their team to maybe think about having a lawyer do it or even yourself,” Allen said. “Whatever a lawyer might charge on an hourly rate is not nearly as much as an agent might get off his percentage.”

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The NBA fined Phoenix Coach Danny Ainge $3,000 for kicking a basketball into the stands after an ejection.

Ainge was given two technical fouls during the fourth quarter of the Suns’ 112-95 loss to Sacramento on Tuesday night when he argued a flagrant foul call against Tom Gugliotta.


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