On a rotating basis, Allen consistently hounds Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, dating back to that wild seven-game series in the 2011 playoffs.
“Just look at what they got on the table: Westbrook and Durant,” Allen said when assessing the Thunder. “That's two of the better athletes in the game today. I was looking at that team when I first came to Memphis, like that's the team we need to mimic ourselves like.”
But last season, with Westbrook out, Memphis was able to burst by the Thunder, depositing them easily in the semifinals.
In the series, Allen helped limit Durant, who had little offensive help, to 42 percent shooting, including a 5-for-21 showing in the closeout game.
And that wasn't lost on some of the local campers turned Thunder fans on Wednesday afternoon, who jeered their OSU hero-turned-NBA villain.
“They were all talking about it. You see some in here with KD shoes,” Allen said. “But for the most part, it's a rivalry that started maybe three years ago and I'm just happy and grateful to be a part of it and be able to compete with those great players that they have.”