Lewis, Allen voice criticism

SEATTLE -- One of the NBA's major surprises this season, the
Seattle SuperSonics tried to squelch signs of dissension Thursday,
but didn't convey an overwhelming message of team harmony.
"It's a situation I think you talk out, you get it out and you
move on," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said Thursday.
After Wednesday night's 102-95 loss at Detroit, Sonics forward
Rashard Lewis told reporters that, "it seems like other guys are
on different agendas. Some guys were trying to win, some guys
Lewis wasn't alone in his criticism. Fellow All-Star Ray Allen
complained about his role in the offense and about playing a
season-low 28 minutes.
"I'm not getting any looks," Allen said. When asked about his
playing time, he said, "You'll have to talk to the coach. I'll
tell you, it's a frustrating situation."
On Thursday, Allen said that he and Lewis are the main focus of
Seattle's offense, should be taking the majority of the shots and
that everyone else plays off of them. As for the playing time,
Allen said he felt his minutes in the third quarter have decreased
of late.
McMillan said he met with each player individually Thursday.
Allen said he intended on talking with everyone as well. Lewis did
not speak with reporters.
The rifts appear out of place in a team that found a working
chemistry early in the season and has 43-20 record and a 10-game
lead over Denver in the Northwest Division.
"I think Rashard put that out there just to keep everyone
focused," Allen said after Thursday's practice. "We can't
splinter when we lose a game."
Recently, the Sonics had their first three-game losing streak of
the season, dropping home games to Phoenix, Houston and Chicago,
but seemed to rebound by winning two of three on their road trip.
While Allen brought up concerns with the offense and his shot
total, either he or Lewis has led Seattle in scoring in the last 20
Seattle is still averaging 100.2 points per game -- seventh in
the NBA -- but the Sonics have become more of a half-court team
lately. Seattle has scored 100 points or more just four times in
the last 14 games. The last was a 103-86 win at Cleveland on March
"We're playing in spurts right now," McMillan said. "We're
not getting two units playing well together and those were the
things that we had all season long."
Then there is the pending free agency hanging over most of the
Sonics' roster. Much of the team, including Allen, guard Antonio
Daniels, forward Vladimir Radmanovic and frontcourt players Reggie
Evans, Jerome James and Vitaly Potapenko can all become free agents
in the offseason.
Allen and agent Lon Babby were attempting to get a deal done
with Seattle before the NBA trade deadline. According to published
reports in the Seattle area, Allen wants $90 million over five
years and Seattle countered with a five-year deal for between $60
million and $70 million.
McMillan said he doesn't want the dissension to derail Seattle's
"I really don't like to talk about it, but it's hard not to
because it's on everyone's mind," the coach said. "But we're
trying to keep the focus on what you have to do out on the court as
a unit and what you did to get to this point."