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Allen joining Heat; Camby, Lewis visiting Heat; Dolphins media column

Heat owner Micky Arison sent a tweet Friday night saying: "It's 2:30 a.m. in London and I was just woken up with great news: Welcome to the family, No. 20!"

The Ray Allen camp was fine with letting Arison break the news, and second source close to Allen also confirmed it.) Allen is getting a two-year deal worth $6.3 million. He turned down $12 million over two years from Boston. Please see my full story on the sports home page about Allen joining Miami.

Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra met with Allen in Miami on Thursday afternoon. After a break, Heat officials - including Riley, Spoelstra, Nick Arison, Andy Elisburg and Alonzo Mourning - dined with Allen on Thursday night at Il Gabbiano on Brickell.

When the day was done, Allen did not tell the Heat if he planned to sign with Miami.

On Friday, he apparently made it. Allen cannot sign until July 11.

The Heat can pay him no more than $9.1 million over three years. The Celtics were offering $12 million over two years and reportedly might include a no-trade clause to ease his concerns after nearly dealing him this past February. The Clippers canceled their Friday meeting with Allen after deciding instead to sign Jamal Crawford to a four-year deal, using their $5 million mid-level exception.

2) Free agent center Marcus Camby is visiting the Heat on Saturday and also is expected to meet with the Knicks, according to a source. Camby initially thought he was going to re-sign with Houston, but that is now less likely.

The Spurs and Mavericks are also in contention. But Camby is not interested in signing for the veteran's minimum. Because Allen is getting the Heat's exception, the Heat likely would need to do a sign and trade to get Camby.

Camby, 38, averaged 4.9 points (on 44.6 percent shooting), 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season for Portland and Houston. His rebound average was 16th in the league and his block average was 21st.

He already has spoken with Heat president Pat Riley, who expressed strong interest.

3) Forward Rashard Lewis will visit the Heat on Sunday, according to agent Tony Dutt. The Knicks, Spurs and Hawks also remain interested, but Lewis is very intrigued by the Heat. Miami "is one of his final couple choices," Dutt said.

Lewis is not necessarily opposed to taking the $1.3 million veteran's minimum because he's due $13.7 million this season in a buyout from the Hornets. But if a team offers him the mid-level exception, that could be tempting. (Miami is obviously holding that $3.1 million exception for Allen.)

Lewis, 32, made 87 three-pointers two years ago, is a career 38.8 percent three-point shooter, and is the type of "stretch" forward that Miami covets. Lewis, 6-10, can play either forward position and is committed to regaining his past form after a knee injury limited him to 28 games last season with Washington. 

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Reality television crashes the South Florida sports scene next week, offering a level of fly-on-the-wall access and intimacy and insight unlike anything the Dolphins or Marlins have ever allowed us to witness.

The eavesdropping should make for fascinating viewing, first with the Marlins’ eight-week reality series that debuts at 10 p.m. Wednesday on Showtime, and then dovetailing into the Dolphins’ five-episode Hard Knocks series that launches at 10 p.m. Aug. 7 on HBO. All you need is a subscription to HBO and Showtime, or a friend with one.

The Herald covered the Showtime/Marlins series in Thursday’s newspaper and on the web site. Here’s an early look at what to expect from Hard Knocks:

### NFL Films’ Ken Rodgers, producing his fifth installment, said nothing will be off limits, but coach Joe Philbin will be permitted to review the show on the morning it airs.

“That’s for one purpose – to make sure we don’t reveal anything that affects competitive balance,” Rodgers said. “Our concern is not to give other teams audible calls or phrases they have not yet revealed in game situations. Our job is to make good television, not be scouts for other teams.”

Contrary to a report, Rodgers said no player or union member will be allowed to view the show before it airs or given any veto power over content. “We’ve been assured access to EVERYTHING in the Dolphins’ facility,” Rodgers said. “We wouldn’t do a show that has limitations on access.”

### Hard Knocks was very fortunate that the Dolphins added colorful character Chad Ochocinco, who was featured prominently during the 2009 Hard Knocks, which chronicled the Bengals.

“As a television producer, I’m glad they signed Chad because I think it’s good television,” Rodgers said. “I’m more interested in him as a player than a TV personality.

“In Cincinnati, he was a lovable goofball. We are interested much more in Chad’s football story than we were in Cincinnati. He’s got an A-list storyline as far as trying to resurrect his career. He doesn’t have too many chances left.”

### Besides Ochocinco, what other storylines appeal to Rodgers and his crew?

“Position battles are interesting and the quarterback battle is something every fan likes to see,” he said.

Tight end Les Brown, who hadn’t played football since 2006 and left an accounting job to join the Dolphins, “is an interesting storyline. We’re interested in the plethora of receivers heading into camp and how they will shake out. The desire of the cornerback duo to raise their game and be in the top tier of NFL cornerbacks is one we’re interested in following. The offensive line has some good characters.”

Director Rob Gehring chimed in with a few other potential angles: “We’ll spend some time with the defensive line. Cam Wake has a great back story. He’s at the peak of his arc. Who’s going to play off him? Is Olivier Vernon going to step up? Jared Odrick is an interesting character, has an engaging personality.”

### But Rodgers cautions that “half of our plans go out the door immediately upon arrival because other storylines are better. We will shoot up until Monday for every show, which airs Tuesday nights. I can’t even say the quarterback battle will be in Show One. We’re not locked into anything.”

### Talk about a massive editing job: NFL Films shoots 250 hours for every one-hour episode. There’s a 100-person staff “that works every day, 18-hour days for six weeks – no weekends, no breaks,” Rodgers said. Hard Knocks will again be narrated by actor Liev Schreiber.

### Rodgers and Gehring already have spent several days at Dolphins camp during offseason practices, researching and shooting footage for the opening. Two observations, in particular, have stood out to them.

“The overall impression I was struck with was the desire to re-define the franchise: This is a team intent on re-capturing the glory years,” Rodgers said. “You can see it in the hallways, in the redecoration of the practice facility.”

Rodgers described the new attitude thusly: “We are proud of who we are at the Dolphins, and we’re going to live up to the glory of the past.”

Gehring said of Philbin: “When you’re around him, you’re like, ‘This is a guy that can turn this thing around.’ He’s a leader. After having just been around him for less than a month, I’m like: I’ll run through a wall for that guy.”

Said Rodgers: “Don’t mistake Joe Philbin’s quiet, thoughtful demeanor as not being in touch with everything that is happening on the field. It might seem like there is a detachment, but he is deeply ingrained with everything.”


### Next Wednesday’s first episode of “The Franchise” - the Showtime/Marlins series - will be an hour, with the seven others running 30 minutes.

MLB Productions executive producer David Gavant said the Marlins provided them more access than the Giants did last year, specifically to members of the front-office and ownership. “It’s ground-breaking,” he said.

### Erin Andrews, 34, who cultivated her sizable fan base as a sideline reporter, made a sensible career move this week by leaving ESPN after eight years to join Fox, which will give her NFL assignments (features on the pre-game show, sideline reporting during playoff games), a reporter’s role on marquee baseball telecasts (including Tuesday’s All-Star Game) and a high-profile studio host job on the network’s new Saturday night Pacific 10/Big 12 football package.