Some Celtics fans are holding no hard feelings towards Ray after the team failed to show much loyalty to him over his past three years in uniform. Others can’t get over the fact Allen would abandon Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to head to the team’s number one rival for less money and a largely similar role. Both groups can make incredibly solid cases on whichever side of the fence they come down in regards to Allen’s decision.
However, there is a lot more to Ray’s decision than meets the eye in all likelihood and some of the inner details behind his motives have started to come out. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports had an incredibly in-depth piece earlier this morning about what played into Allen’s choice of Miami. Many of the factors were things we’ve already covered here at CelticsHub in-depth, but there are a few further details that are certainly worth noting.
On his tension with Rondo:
For all the past indignities – real or imagined – Rondo was the issue that hadn’t gone away, that would still be there come training camp. They don’t like each other, and it had become a bigger and bigger drag on Allen, sources said. Each had culpability for why things had gone awry, and yet each was better on the court because he had played with the other.
Rondo has had a polarizing impact within the Celtics’ locker room, and his relationships with teammates and coaches have fluctuated over the years. Allen and Rondo never had arguments this year, never got into it. In fact, one source said: “Ray mostly ignored him.” After the season, Rivers tried his best to mend the relationship between Rondo and Allen – make it manageable on some level. And yet, as one source with direct knowledge of the coach’s efforts said, the relationship was “too far gone.”
On Lacking Respect from Ainge and Doc:
Respect comes in different ways, but make no mistake: The Celtics had offered two years and $12 million – respect for someone’s who’s 37 and coming off ankle surgery – and it didn’t matter to Allen. He hated the way Ainge dangled him in trade talks, hated that the Celtics told him he was on his way to Memphis in a deal at the March deadline only to have Rivers later tell him the trade was dead. Allen hated that Rivers didn’t give him his starting job back after he returned from a late-season ankle injury, and hated that it always felt like he was the Celtics star made to sacrifice above the rest.
On Sticking it to the Celtics:
When Allen left Miami on Friday, the Heat were unsure they had convinced him. He’s hard to read. They knew he’d fly home to New England, think it over, and it would still be so difficult for him to extract himself from the Celtics. Whatever the allure to Allen, his DNA was still made of loyalty and routine, and that still had to give Boston an edge.
Yet, it turns out Allen’s trip to South Beach made him feel so wanted, so inspired, and, truth be told, so eager to stick it to the Celtics. He could’ve broken Boston’s hearts and left for anywhere, but clearly there’s a part of Allen that wants to exact some kind of revenge on the Celtics. There was nowhere else to do that but Miami.
I wrote this two weeks ago on CelticsHub in trying to put a pulse on the situation with Ray:
My guess is the biggest battle here in keeping these two together will be Boston trying to appease Allen. The future Hall-of-Famer has probably had his ego wounded while he was here over the past couple years. He didn’t like to be dangled at the trade deadline every year as trade bait. He probably didn’t appreciate the demotion to the bench, which was beyond his control with Bradley playing so well with the starters. He might be butting heads with Rondo behind the scenes and he might be hesitant to come off the bench for an organization that hasn’t shown him the most appreciation (you could argue) in recent years. It may be more than a money decision in which Allen decides to move on from Boston and if it is, I respect that.
In my opinion though, those reasons I just described aren’t reason enough for Ray to leave flat out. Boston has their ace in the hole with Rivers in trying to woo Ray back. Allen could still play 30 minutes for this team off the bench next year and be very successful at it with a far deeper bench surrounding him. Would Ainge promise not to trade Ray if he came back? Probably not, but it’s a reasonable request if you’re Allen at this point.
The fact of the matter is, if both sides want this to happen, they can make it work. Boston has the money to pay Ray, and if Ray wants to play, get paid fairly, and win he could do far worse than staying in this relationship. As long as Allen doesn’t demand more than two years (even that might be too much) Danny Ainge should bring him back.
Now the decision has been made by Ray. The fence has been too damaged and the Celtics weren’t willing to do enough, nor was Allen willing to forget enough to repair it. Allen made his choice and you have to respect that if you are a Celtics fan. You don’t however, have to like it.
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