Sorry, contenders, Ray Allen is not returning to the NBA this season

Miami Heat guard Ray Allen (34) gestures during the second half in Game 3 of the NBA basketball finalsagainst the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Miami. The Spurs defeated the Heat 111-92. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)The NBA’s contenders will have to look for shooters elsewhere. Future Hall of Famer Ray Allen, the league’s all-time leader in made three-pointers, will not play this season. The 39-year-old Allen announced his decision through his agent, Jim Tanner of Tandem Media and Entertainment.

Here are the relevant quotes from the press release:

“Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me,” Allen said. “I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season.” […]

“Ray has received enormous interest from a number of NBA teams throughout this season,” Tanner said. “We will communicate with interested teams as Ray makes a decision for the 2015-16 season.”

Allen had been mentioned as a potential late addition to contending teams since the regular season began this fall. At various points, that group of potential suitors has included the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Clippers. These teams generally appeared to have given up on bringing Allen back to the league by February’s trade deadline, but the official news will end speculation for now.

Those last two words are meaningful, because Allen did not take this time to announce that he was tired. While Yahoo’s own Marc Spears reported last July that Allen was leaning towards retirement following his 18th professional season, he has never officially stated that his career is over. As the press release states, Allen will simply take more time to decide if he’s ready to sign with a team for 2015-16. Unless Allen signs with a team this summer (unlikely, given his age) or announces his retirement, we’re probably headed for a similar scenario next season.

This interest may seem excessive for many veterans, but Allen has the potential to turn a playoff series or two with his shooting. He made the overtime-forcing basket that allowed the Miami Heat to stay alive in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, averaged 26.5 minutes over 73 games for the Heat in 2013-14, and boasts a skill that becomes more important with every passing season. There’s a good reason that everyone will be watching his decision for another year.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Watch Mark Crawford go off on opposing coach during Swiss league playoffs (Video)

Marc Crawford is no stranger to going off on an opposing coach while on his team’s bench. Remember the 1997 Western Conference Final against the Red Wings?

Nearly 20 years later, Crawford still has that edge and the ZSC Lions head coach took out some frustrations on EHC Biel head coach Kevin Schläpfer during a Swiss League playoff game on Saturday.

With Biel holding a 5-0 lead in the third period, things started to bubble over, and a dust-up ensued between Henrik Tallinder and Spylo Ahren. Via Bardown, when Schlapfer said something to Tallinder, Crawford had enough.  

WARNING: VERY NSFW language (unless you have a really cool boss):

“If Schläpfer wants to mess with me, let him. But with a player? That will not do,” Crawford said.

“I did not know what Crawford wanted. I’ve seen that he’s jumped up [on] the plexi, and [was] a little frightened,” Schläpfer joked afterward, referencing the 1997 incident.

“Those who know me know so that he had a point with Hollywood,” he told 20 Minuten.

Just an all-around quality outburst by Crawford. And now Schläpfer will forever will dubbed “Hollywood” wherever he goes. Win-win for the former NHL bench boss.

And speaking of wins, ZSC, who have won two of the last three National League A titles, came back to even the series in Game 2 with a 3-1 victory. 

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Phil Mickelson was too tired to play a round at Augusta National

If someone told you that, if you stayed up for 48 consecutive hours, you could play Augusta National Golf Club, there’s a good chance you would run to your nearest coffee machine and start brewing. 

If you had to give a kidney to play the home of the Masters, there’s a chance you’d handle the scalpel yourself.

Not Phil Mickelson, though. The three-time Masters winner has probably played Augusta National more times than he can ever remember. So, not that it’s old hat, but he can go there pretty much whenever he wants. Perhaps that’s why he canceled a scheduled Tuesday practice round there. Why?

“Just tired,” Mickelson said Monday after The Honda Classic. 

Mickelson then made the short drive from PGA National to Seminole Golf Club for its famous, star-studded pro-member tournament. Along with partner and Augusta National member Jimmy Payne, Mickelson came in a tie for eighth, four shots behind the winning duo of Rory McIlroy and John Pinkham.

Ah, the life of a golf legend. 


Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Idaho eligible for postseason play in 2015

Idaho says the bowl ban imposed on the football team because of poor APR scores has been lifted.

The Vandals were inelgibile for postseason play in 2014 as a penalty for poor academic performance from 2009-2012. Both Idaho and UNLV were banned because of their low scores.

In a revealing quote on Idaho’s website, coach Paul Petrino had this to say:

“It was a group effort,” Petrino said. “Everybody worked really hard.”

The Idaho football website was also quick to point out that the team has accumulated a 2.55 GPA in Petrino’s “four semesters” as head coach. According to the school the APR for the team is expected to be in the 960s this season. In 2011 and 2012, the team’s score was below 900.

The school will also receive the restoration of four hours a week in practice time if its APR scores are above 940.

Restoring Idaho’s bowl eligibility may be like removing a roadblock a car can’t access in the first place, however. The Vandals have won three games in the past three years. The team was 1-11 in 2012 and 2013 and 1-10 in 2014. If you’re a casual fan, the only thing you remember about Idaho’s season may be their involvement in the game at Florida on Aug. 30 that was canceled and never made up because of a thunderstorm.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Jordan Leopold’s daughter asks Wild to ‘bring dad home’ and they do

The NHL Trade Deadline can sometimes feel mechanical and cold. These are names on the transaction wire, additions to rosters. What gets lost is that these are moves that interrupt lives and affect families. 

Thanks to Jordyn Leopold, we’ve all been reminded about the human side of the trade deadline.

Jordyn Leopold is the 11-year-old daughter of Jordan Leopold, a defenseman who played for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. In January, she wrote a letter to the Minnesota Wild front office asking the team to trade for her father, a University of Minnesota product who was born in Golden Valley, Minnesota. 

“My dad is very lonely without his family,” the letter reads. “We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad and so is my mom, my 2 sisters and my brother. My dad is on a team with young guys and is very lonely and is not playing because the Jackets got him because they needed a D-man. I has been since November and we can not take it anymore.

“Please, please, please ask the Jackets if you guys can get him.”

On Monday, they did: The Minnesota Wild traded defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick for Jordyn Leopold’s dad.

Here’s the letter, which KFAN.com acquired:

Wild letter, via KFAN.com

Sorry. Got a little dusty in here all of a sudden …

Amazing moment for Leopold and his family, and the highlight of the NHL trade deadline. And, perhaps, the start of Jordyn Leopold’s path to becoming an NHL general manager…

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