After Ray Allen finished up his press conference earlier this afternoon in Miami, he held court with members of the Boston media and further reflected on his feelings and connection with Boston, including that quote in the headline. Here’s a few of the more noteworthy passages via Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. I recommend you check out the entire piece as well:
On not feeling urgency from the Celtics: “To a small extent, yeah. When Kevin signed I was excited for him. He signed a three-year deal and I expected to be somewhere along the same (length). Then they went in another direction and started to sign their other free agents. In a free agency period, I’m looking at Miami and they’re so excited to have me come here and have an opportunity, and I didn’t sense the same excitement coming from that side of the equation.”
On not wanting to answer questions about his issues with Rajon Rondo during press conference: “It’s not that I didn’t want to answer it, but I’m here as part of something that’s good moving forward. I can’t say it was an issue for me in this free agency. I wanted to make a decision that was going to keep me happy. I wouldn’t put it on one person.”
And here’s the money quote via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
And when he was asked about coming back to Boston as a member of the Heat, Allen said. “Forever, I’ll always be a Celtic, no matter what. I seen Big Baby (Glen Davis) down here during the playoffs watching (Game 5 vs. Miami) and I looked at him as a brother. We played against Perk (Kendrick Perkins) during the year, it doesn’t change. Posey came in the locker room once we lost Game 7 here and he’s forever a Celtic. Eddie House played down there (in Miami) and he came in the (Celtics) locker room every time he got the opportunity. In my mind, it never changes. I don’t care what people say about me, I’ll always stay true to the city of Boston and the fans there. They’ve been great to me. I’ll always consider that place home.”
Listen, I’ll always respect Ray Allen and how well he played for the Boston Celtics for the past five years. I’m sorry to say, though, he is in for a rude awakening when he returns to Boston next fall. Ray will be given a nice tribute video and a standing ovation since C’s fans realize his value to the franchise. However, the situations and players he is comparing his departure to are entirely different and the fans’ reaction will reflect that difference.
James Posey, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins and Eddie House all left Boston for either more money, or against their own will (i.e. trades). You can bet in almost all of those cases (except perhaps Davis) if the C’s were offering the same (and more money) those guys would have stayed in Boston.
Ray’s situation was different. After being mistreated during the past few years (in Allen’s estimation) the shooting guard decided he needed to be wooed and shown some appreciation. Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers probably mistakenly thought an offer of double Miami’s money would be more than enough to prove their desire to have him return. Perhaps they recruited him less than they needed to. There was no way he would walk away from double the money though, right?
It wasn’t enough for Allen, who had too many looming issues (role on team, relationship with Rondo, past trade rumors, Terry signing, etc.) to mend fences for what the C’s were offering. The money was more, but not enough more. So Ray is hopping ship to the enemy, playing what will likely be a similar role to what he’d be doing in Boston. There is plenty of blame to go around in this whole situation, but at this point Allen is coming out of this equation looking less than great, especially for someone who will always consider himself a Celtic.