When Ray Allen left Boston for Miami, I wrote an article demanding that Celtics’ fans give Ray the respect he deserves. Allen had chosen to take his smooth jumper down to South Beach. As a free agent he had the right to do so, hey it’s America, he has the freedom to work where he wants. Everything was ok in my book. Especially since the C’s replaced Allen with better options and deeper talent.
With the arrival of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, the Celts added two for the price of one. Terry and Lee have one edge over Allen, they don’t have enormous egos. Terry and Lee, by all reports, are the ultimate team players. Both are sacrificing less money to play for a title in Boston.
All was good during the summer. Both sides, the Celtics and Allen, remained rather quiet about their divorce. Allen did hint at his introductory press conference that there was a lack of respect he felt coming from upper management in Boston. Then Kevin Garnett mentioned during the start of training camp that he got rid of Allen’s cell phone number and hasn’t talked to him since he left town.
All that back and forth was acceptable, but then this week it seems like Allen just can’t keep quiet about the bridges were burned during the last few years in Boston, and his feeling that he was “forced out of Boston”.
Allen must have gotten PR advice from his teammate LeBron James because what’s coming out of Allen’s doesn’t sound like a guy who was so respected and loved for the last five years in the New England region. Allen, in the past week, has blamed Rajon Rondo, Danny Ainge’s trade talks, as well as losing his starting spot to Avery Bradley as the main factor in departing town.
All those are reasonable, but when Allen hinting that his decision to go to Miami was a “business decision”, is as Joe Biden would say, a bunch of “malarkey”.
The Celtics offered Allen double the money Miami did, plus a no-trade clause. I am not a math expert but taking less money in any job is not exactly a smart business decision. All Allen had to say leading up to Tuesday’s opener against the Celtics was that his decision was the best career decision for him to win another ring. You can’t argue with that, Miami is a title favorite for a reason.
Instead Allen has had suffered from diarrhea of the mouth, seemingly saying all the wrong things. I loved Allen as much as anyone during his time in Boston, but his ego was clearly out of control. He couldn’t handle being a weapon off the bench, and complained he wasn’t getting enough shots. Doc Rivers and Ainge clearly reached out to Allen and as Doc hinted this week, Allen just didn’t return his calls. Allen didn’t make it look like he even wanted to return to the place where he won his first title.
But as a Celtic fan, I won’t miss Allen that much. Allen clearly lost a step the last few seasons, especially in the playoffs. The Celts tried their best to get Allen the ball during the playoffs, during his time in Boston, but Allen seemed to cool down once the playoffs heated up.
After catching fire in Game 2 of the 2010 finals, a game where Allen went 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, Allen’s game plummeted. He finished the series averaging just 14.6 PPG on a pathetic 29% shooting from long-range. When the C’s needed him most, during a Game 7 nail biter, Allen couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean, going 3-of-14 from the floor in the most important game of his career.
In Game 7 of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, Allen, you remember, missed a crucial layup during the fourth quarter, when Miami was making their run that eventually catapulted them to the Finals. The layup Allen missed was a layup I see 75-year old wrinkly old guys makeat the YMCA on a regular basis.
The thought of Allen raising the Larry O’Brien trophy in a Heat jersey is a kick to the groin to any Celtics’ fan. But Allen had his chance to stay in Boston, and he didn’t. He had the chance to stay quiet about his departure, and he didn’t. Now it’s time to move on and play some basketball.