Cleveland recently summoned Lance Allred from the D-League’s Idaho Stampede, and while the 6’11” center isn’t exactly tearing it up in the Association — he played for a whopping 14 seconds in the Cavs’ loss to Milwaukee last night — his ascent to the big leagues is a triumph in itself, writes the Salt Lake Tribune’s Gordon Monson.
Allred, who had overcome physical ailments, severe hearing impairment, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and a family environment that, for a time, was polygamous, had been verbally abused, called, he says, by his former coach a “deaf, dumb f—” and a “disgrace to cripples” in front of his teammates.
After transferring to Weber State, Allred, who suffered the loss of 75 percent of his hearing and required the help of amplification devices, had the courage to speak out about Majerus, who denied Allred’s claims, but who then abruptly quit as coach. Later, the player said he was “amazed” at the effect his revelations, confirmed by two other players and a staff member, had on the basketball landscape in Utah.
As for his own landscape, following his college days, in the summer of 2005, Allred tried to impress NBA scouts at the annual Portsmouth pre-draft camp, but apparently made a positive impression on no one associated with the league. He got only one workout, with the Jazz, and went undrafted before signing a $120,000 contract to play for a team in Turkey, the same club for which former Ute Britton Johnsen and former Jazzman Dee Brown play.
He received his initial pay from the team in the form of a bundle of cash – delivered to Allred by the club manager in an open shopping mall – in plain view of the people around him.
“Everyone saw it,” he says. “So, I took off running. I was afraid. I ran back to my hotel and sent the money home to my family as soon as I could. After that, I didn’t get paid for a month and a half. I finally said, ‘You either pay me, or I’m not playing.’ ”
That same day, a team official showed up at Allred’s door to take him to the airport. “They just let me go,” he says.