Paul Pierce did not play in Miami last night, but that did not stop Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald from getting The Truth to open up about Ray Allen before what could have been the final head-to-head matchup this season between the ex-teammates. In what is a terrific piece by Murph, we get some compelling quotes from both Pierce and Allen after a year apart.
“One day when it’s all said and done, I’m sure we’ll talk about it off to the side,” Pierce said when asked if he was capable of forgiving Allen for joining the Celtics’ bitterest conference rival. “But not right now.”
Pierce has this much in common with Celtics fans. He still can’t conceive of Allen’s decision.
“It definitely hurt me,” Pierce said. “Say we play the Lakers for the championship, and two years later I go and sign with the Lakers. That’s the equivalent of what he did.”
Allen, told of Pierce’s comments last night, quietly nodded.
“I miss playing with Paul, and being his teammate,” he said. “There’s a lot of sentimentality from me being there and walking with those guys. That doesn’t change. I wouldn’t take that away from him. I respect him feeling that way. Those feelings are justified. I’m not on his team anymore, I’m not helping them win.
“His feelings are hurt, but he knows, he understands. He and I can look at each other and exchange a glance, because he knows what I had to do. He knows.”
Fair points by both guys. Pierce really sums it up well though later in the piece, for why many C’s fans felt burned when Allen jumped ship to the Heat with this quote.
Pierce first talked about understanding why Allen left.
“I was a little upset,” Pierce said. “I had a feeling that Ray probably wouldn’t come back, just from how things were between him and the organization.
Then comes to the kicker….
“But I didn’t think he would go there,” he said, referring to Miami. “I thought he might go someplace like the Clippers. None of that would have surprised me. But it really surprised me that he would go there.”
There’s really no need to rehash it anymore than that. Allen had every right in the world to leave. He did his job here and did it well. He was used as trade bait far too much. His grievances were valid on several fronts.
The fact is, Ray’s teammates probably understood why he left, something any Celtics fan could universally accept as his choice. It’s the fact he went to Miami, the enemy, for half the money. That still stings someone who prides himself on loyalty as much as Pierce does.
Now, we wait for a playoff showdown that may or may not come. Here’s hoping it does.