Ray Allen’s introductory press conference just wrapped up in Miami, as he took the podium flanked by his recruiters Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra. Allen handled the proceedings in a very dignified matter, as you would expect, but failed to display much positive emotion (in my opinion) while speaking to reporters.
Luckily, a number of Boston reporters were on hand, which allowed them to ask a number of tough questions to Ray about negotiations, Rajon Rondo, leaving Boston and more. Here are a few of the key answers with a full transcript to follow later today:
Ray Allen on making the decision: “You move into situation when you come into the summer, you don’t know what can happen. You try to figure out what is best for you and your family and here I sit. I came down here and I’ve seen Pat Riley in several situations in passing. We had the chance to sit down together and talk basketball philosophy with him. I’ve followed him as long as I’ve followed basketball. He shared a lot of good stories. Coach Spo and I share very similar ideals offensively and defensively. He was asking me what I liked. I agreed with a lot of direction the team was going in. I talked about it with my family and we decided what was best for us.”
Ray dodging question on friction with Rondo: “I haven’t spoken with [Rajon] at all. When I came down here, I texted Paul and Kevin. I talked quite a bit with them over the years. Those are the guys when we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders on whether we are going to win. I’ve looked at our times playing in Boston. It is sad to me that I won’t be with those guys anymore, I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do in this organization.”
Ray Allen on whether his taking half-price indicates he thinks Miami has a better chance to win this year: “It’s hard to come into a season and say you have a better chance. The work still has to be put in. Boston has a great chance to, they made some great signings. I looked at the situation and I thought about what would be best for my family and me personally, going out to help this team win with the talent I have.”
Ray on when he made his decision to leave: “I think it was maybe July 6th, if I have my days correctly. There was a moment where I had to decide…..with me going forward offensively, how i was going to be able to contribute. I felt I’d contributed a great deal to them and they’ve been so good to me. There was a moment, when I talked to people who had followed me forever and they said change is not bad, you should consider [Miami].”
Could Boston have done anything to keep Ray? “It’s hard to say,” Allen replied.
Did he speak with KG? “When I knew I was leaning towards Miami, I actually send a text out to Kevin. I told him, I said ‘hey I’m leaning this way.’ He said ‘Danny will step up to the plate and do what he needs to do.’”
Ray on his connection to Boston and the community: “I’ve given so much not only on the floor but off the floor. So there is a sense of sadness and hurt that people feel. We feel loss too. We’re still part of that community. We’re still part of New England.”
Ray will wear number 34 as a member of the Miami Heat.