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Byline: Greg Bishop and Danny O'Neil
Sep. 4--Ray Allen knew starting his own foundation would be difficult. He didn't know it could be dangerous -- until he fired his executive director in 1999.
That director, Mark Christie, took the news at home over the phone. He didn't take it well.
"I remember him saying he was going to kill everybody," says Allen, the former Sonics star.
Christie admits he threatened Allen, but says he was venting and wasn't serious. Although Allen didn't expect Christie to follow through, he wasn't taking any chances. He hired bodyguards for himself and his mother, who worked at the charity.
Allen can laugh about it now, the low point in a decade of charity work. Hindsight provides a clear view of what went wrong. They aimed high. Too high. They hosted lavish events that cost more than they raised for charity. They grew fast. Too fast. And then they fell hard.
Allen's goodwill threatened to stain his good name.
"It taught me a lot," Allen says. "Now, I won't allow anyone to have that control."
Allen was a rising basketball star from the University of Connecticut with a well-rounded image and a perfect jump shot. The guy with so much charisma he played the lead role of Jesus Shuttlesworth in the feature film "He Got Game" and later negotiated his own $71 million NBA contract.
Christie was the star's manager, a credit analyst who once worked on Wall Street and took graduate business classes …