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Ray Allen is Back in Boston…How Will You React?

 

It’s a bit of a surreal weekend here in Boston. To a degree, it’s almost fitting that the Celtics’ own poor play has consumed the region so much over the past couple weeks, there has been little, if any time to speculate about the return of Ray Allen to the TD Garden Sunday afternoon. How the C’s play on the floor will be the far bigger issue than Ray tomorrow as they attempt to put a stop to a 6-game losing streak against the defending champions. Nonetheless, Allen will be in the Garden for the first time in an opposing uniform since 2007 and there are still plenty of fresh wounds from his departure. Here’s Marc Spears from Yahoo! Sports with plenty of quotes from Ray on it all:

Allen says the reason for his departure from Boston was “a collection of everything.”

“We’ve been in multiple trade scenarios for the past two years,” Allen said. “It’s almost been a sense of disregard from my place wanting me in this situation and then coming into free agency.

“They prioritized who they wanted to sign and then they came to me matter of factly. Then you tell me I’m going to come off the bench and take less minutes.”

Added Allen, “When you put me in the situation where you’re not giving me any understanding or explanation of where the team is moving and what direction you’re going in, then you’re building around in another direction… At the end of the day whether it makes sense to you or not, you’re not showing me that you really need me back or want me back.”

Some more perspective from Michael Wallace of the ESPN.com:

“I think I’ve moved on, but who I was as a Celtic will always be inside of me, as well as everything I played for,” Allen said of his highly anticipated return to Boston, now as a member of the Miami Heat. “All of those memories my whole career, you look back at everything I’ve done, it’s a collection of many different places and people.”

Allen won’t be rattled by the moment — or the memories.

“All positive,” Allen said of his overall feelings about the Celtics and Boston. “Everything that I accomplished there, everything that I experienced there brought me to this place where I’m at now. And I’m appreciative of all of it, because the negative you learn from just the same.”

Will Boston fans vehemently boo and jeer him for bolting to the team that ended their season each of the past two years? Or will they respectfully acknowledge his accomplishments there, where he became the NBA’s career leader in 3-pointers alongside Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo on teams that twice reached the Finals?

“I’ll deal with it when it comes,” Allen said. “But you never really know until you get there.”

That doesn’t quite sync with what Ray told Marc Spears in his story.

“Everywhere you go when you’re on the road you’re going to get booed anyway,” Allen said. “I expect that because I’m on the other team now.”

To put it bluntly, I expect the boos to outweigh the cheers tomorrow for Allen at the TD Garden. I also wonder though whether the team’s recent struggles may fans a bit more appreciative and understanding of Ray and his decision to skip town for sunnier skies in Miami.

With that said though, I leave it to you guys. How will you react tomorrow to seeing Ray in a Heat jersey at the Garden? If you were going to be there (or will be there) what would your response be? And what do you think the crowd will do tomorrow?

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljavid @michaeljavid

    Ray Allen is the enemy. That's all there is to it.

  • r4zor

    cheer during the intro but once the game starts, the past is the past and he's just the opponent.

  • Ge0gre

    Cheer for sure. He's a Celtic and honestly, its not his fault for leaving… the organization nudged him to leave (IMO).

  • elroz

    I could care less. He took less money and a reduced role in Miami (he would have had a bigger role in Boston even in 2012-2013)… then he says "I'm a Celtic" – huh? You think 5 years and then an unpleasant exit makes you a Celtic? One thing is clear: nobody is going to retire Ray's jersey – not the Sonics (OKC), not the Bucks, not the Celtics, and not the Heat, unless they are utterly desperate.
    Of course Miami is warm all year around, and you can just ride the coattails of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh…

  • Phil725

    What 'will' happen is that he'll be booed heavily, probably 80-20. The fact that the comment calling Ray the enemy is 2 and the one absolving him is -2 is a pretty solid test case. He took less money to play for the team's biggest enemy (one the fans hold a healthy hatred for,) and the exit was hardly amicable. Put it this way; if you wanted to make an anti-Ray compilation with quotes from the last six months, it wouldn't be hard.

    Who's at fault doesn't really make a difference. Ray exited somewhat ignominiously, but the organization wasn't innocent. Even this year, Ray would be flying around in every trade rumor (we need another big guy and Ray's just coming off the bench. Terry will play well when given his minutes!) The split had to happen.

    On a personal note, I'm generally against booing anyone. I think booing your team is almost always stupid (the most embarrassing local example being when Pats fans booed the team when they were losing against Miami to end their ~24 game winning streak.) Players are deserving of boos occasionally, but how often does it really help? Players cite being booed by their home crowd as a negative all the time, and enemy players who deserve it like Joakim Noah often like it. The only memorable positive booing instance I can remember is when Cs fans destroyed Mike Bibby all game for his bandwagon fans comment. Ray Allen isn't Mike Bibby, he's not gonna wilt like that. (He'll also never handle the ball; tough to boo him as he's catching and shooting.) If you boo Ray, be prepared for him possibly making you pay.

    • michaelmarlow

      Except Ray probably wouldn't be in any trade rumors because he was offered a no trade clause.

      I agree about booing your own team; it's almost always pointless. There are some guys on other teams you don't want to incite, like Kobe, but for the most part that's just part of the fun to me. I don't think Ray is that guy; I don't think it will effect him much either way, at least after the game gets going.

      It's hard to even care that much with the way the team is playing; Ray seems pretty insignificant right now. That aside, with Ray it is personal; I think he deserves what he gets. To me he killed his Celtics legacy; that's on him. Maybe time heals all, but some things stay broken forever.

      • Phil725

        Ah, you're right, I forgot about the no trade clause. I guess the problem this year would be that Ray would've been starting and playing a big role through the first couple of months, then expected to go back to the bench once Bradley returned. Given what we've heard since the split, I wouldn't be surprised if stuff started bubbling over publicly, especially during a stretch like this. Losing always brings problems to the surface. The team was so great after Ray went to the bench last year that there was no problem that could pop up. Ray would've been destroyed for criticizing a lineup that was plus 19 per 100 possessions.

        I understand booing as part of the fun of being a fan when it comes to guys like Noah, I just don't see how this situation is gonna be fun for anyone. I'm not sure how Ray responds to booing (partly because he's been so well liked his whole career,) but I do remember him hitting fallaway 28 footers and ridiculous driving layups he's been turning over for the last five years the last time he went up against the Cs. I wouldn't wanna wake that mode up again.

        Ray's Celtic legacy is a weird topic. He's certainly sealed his fate for the remainder of his career, but I think he'll eventually be remembered favorably (sooner rather than later actually.) Partly because I don't expect him to do much more of note in his career. If he wins a championship as a bit player on the Heat, who really cares? Seeing Ray Allen next to Mario Chalmers in the background as they clap for Lebron holding the trophy won't change anything in 2018 for the ten year anniversary. I've got some big time fear about how this team's gonna transition into the next era, and if it's as bad as I expect, people will love looking back at the Big 3 era.

  • Miggy_Miggz

    I wish cared about this, unfortunately our recent play has my attention somewhere else.

    I just want a win!

  • High Rollers

    If I were there, I’d boo him, emphatically. All due respect to Chris Forsberg’s “get past mad” reference, but this isn’t about anger towards Ray. Nor is it about misplaced frustration. It’s about rallying around your troops, and our troops just happen to be down at the moment. And when your guys are down you do what it takes to help them build back up. One thing the past teaches us is that talking helps, vocalizing what’s what. The C’s themselves must be talked out. The Boston fans have to give ‘em some love and support, whatever form that takes. In my opinion a good form would include a healthy amount of Ray ribbing sprinkled throughout the game. A part of sports IS us vs. them. Ray chose Them. Our guys are in need of a win. It’s pretty simple. And not personal. (Right, Ray?)

    • Bill

      I wouldn't boo personally, because I wouldn't really boo anyone.

      I don't really fault Ray completely or the Celtics organization for the breakdown of their relationship. They both have a share in what went down, as do some of the other players on the Celtics roster. Team dynamics are a complicated beast. Things stop working between people sometimes, just like any relationship … this one just has a lot more people in it.

      Had Ray stayed, it may have ended up being destructive for the team, and for him personally. I won't deny that there's a part of me that enjoys watching him struggle in Miami with some of the same things he would have been struggling with in Boston (less minutes, decreased relevance) while getting paid substantially less for it. I believe that he was somewhat arrogant, but I believe the Celtics organization was as well … pride before the fall, and whatnot.

      Another part of me misses seeing Ray on the floor, and he's still one of my favorite players. He was one of my favorite players well before he came to the Celtics, and he is without question one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball.

      • Bill

        Oddly relevant … I loved watching the Heat lose after they put their big three together, because I really thought Boston (and other teams) taught them a lesson about arrogance, particularly Lebron.

        That said, while I didn't like seeing the Celtics lose last year, a part of me enjoyed seeing how far Lebron has come as a player, and a teammate.

        I think that's why I feel conflicted about Ray … he's not simply arrogant, there were more layers to what was going on, and it's obvious he was very conflicted about it. Hard to dislike that …

      • High Rollers

        I respect Ray for his contributions, no question. I just hope that everything the C's face today, including Ray, is a galvanizing force for their own welfare as a group of warriors with a common goal, winning a championship for the Celtics. I know, that last part seems more out of the equation each day to us fans. But as a player, why be there if you don't think you have a fighting chance? Shouldn't the fans with the privilege of actually being at the game be an extension of that? They were last year, for sure, in Game 6 of the ECF. Just like I expect the C's confidence to be unwavering, I still expect the Let's Go Celtics crowd to be loud and proud and relentless for the win.

  • DaDiVill

    I personally don't care about Rey Allen coming back in Boston. He deserve a warm but little appreciation because he is still part of that championship run that made us all proud of. If there is something to be boo about is the performance of the Boston Celtics! they stinks! can't find a way to win! it's not a Celtic way of playing.

  • DaDiVill

    I personally don't care about Rey Allen coming back in Boston. He deserve a warm but little appreciation because he is still part of that championship run that made us all proud of. If there is something to be boo about is the performance of the Boston Celtics! they stinks! can't find a way to win! it's not a Celtic way of playing.

  • ghoulbuns

    I’d boo the hell out of Judas Shuttlesworth. Go ride coat-tails all you like if you want to destroy your legacy, silly ring-chaser. No respect.

  • complexity

    Almost everyone here would have done the same thing Ray did.

    • Phil725

      Speak for yourself, I'd much rather have the 6m extra dollars. I'd be able to afford the expensive microwave pizzas!

  • Kivanc

    It's a shame about Ray

  • Morpheus

    Shut up complex, don’t put me in your bubble.

    To be honest i forgot all about Ray’s return and i could care less. I just want the Celtics to…..i don’t know, i think this season is finished. I am not in a good state with this team right now. Boo Ray all you want, this franchise has bigger problems to deal with.

  • Switcharoo

    I’m with Morph on this one. If the Celtics where in a better position then giving Ray a little welcome back razz would be a given. Things being as they are this team has bigger fish to fry.

  • tbunny

    I wonder how much of Bass's problems come from the absence of viable 3 point shooting. The spacing for Bass seems like it isn't there. Bass isn't hitting/getting shots and probably he's not playing defense as well because of it.

    • Bill

      It's a HUGE part of Bass's problems. It's part of KG's shooting problems also. We have no reliable three point shooting. I know there are other problems, but when you don't run and you don't shoot threes, you can't make them.

      I think it was Legler that was saying … Boston tries to play this slow half court game like they've got a dominant low post presence, and they don't. They shoot less threes than almost any other team in the league, and they also make less. It's incomprehensible. They either need to run, and play a bit more transition ball or trade some of the wings that aren't running for a real center, but they can't have it both ways … because they're not having either way, as a result.

  • Art

    You have to appreciate what Ray did for the Celtics when he was here. No use in booing the guy. His leaving was probably the best for both sides. I still say despite the C's season so far getting Terry and Lee in place of Allen was a good deal. Whether or not he's been successful at it Ainge has tried very hard to balance winning now and in the future.

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