Our beloved Ray Allen, to the Heat?!
Social media has been in uproar since the news broke Friday night that Ray Allen turned down more money from the Boston Celtics, to join LeBron James in South Beach as the newest member of the Miami Heat.
Allen has spent the past five seasons with the Celtics after a draft night trade in 2007 that landed Boston the future Hall of Famer and would eventually help them land Kevin Garnett to form the original "Big 3" along with Paul Pierce. They found success together instantly, each winning their first NBA Championship together in 2008. Since then however, the Boston/Allen relationship has been rocky to say the least.
Several sources broke last season that the Celtics were taking offers for Allen as they knew he had the most value to a possible contender and at one point were very close to sending the three-point specialist to Memphis for guard OJ Mayo. Although head coach Doc Rivers denies the report, it was believed Rivers was on the phone with Allen informing him of the trade before something broke down at the last second, keeping Allen a member of the Celtics for the rest of the season. However, the psyche of Allen had already been damaged as no veteran winding down towards the end of his career ever wants to hear his name in trade talks.
While Allen struggled toward the second half of the season with ankle injuries, it gave the opportunity for other players to step up and win the vacant shooting guard position. Avery Bradley took full advantage of Allen being hurt to showcase his game, steal Allen's starting spot, and put himself in position to the be Celtics starting 2-guard for the next 5+ years. That's how sports work, one guy goes down and the next steps right in. When Drew Bledsoe got knocked out of a game against the New York Jets it gave the chance for a quarterback out of Michigan to step in and make a name for himself. Bledsoe didn't stick around with New England much longer because he knew he had lost his starting job and decided to try elsewhere.
Ray Allen is many things. He's Jesus Shuttlesworth, a gentleman, a class act, a professional, and a competitor. After the Celtics just signed Jason Terr, who has a similar skill-set to Allen, and with a healthy Avery Bradley set to begin the season, Allen began to question how he would fit in with next year's Celtics team. The Celtics would be paying Allen more to do less, as Miami would be paying him less but give a larger role on the team. In Miami Allen will be the first guy off the bench. If he agreed to comeback to Boston however, how would Allen and Terry have been able to gel? He already lost his starting position and now he wouldn't be sure if he would even be the first guy off the bench. In Allen's mind, when Boston signed Terry he knew he played his final game as a member of the Boston Celtics.
Another reason Allen decided to leave Boston, I think we will begin to hear more about now, is that there seemed to be turmoil between Allen and point guard Rajon Rondo. For whatever reason Allen was not a fan of Rondo. There was never any news of the two needing to be separated or getting into an altercation but more of an awkward silence where they wouldn't speak and it would linger in the locker room affecting the chemistry of the team. Someone needed to go and Allen knew Boston wouldn't put their franchise point guard up for sale in favor of a 36 year-old shooting guard.
The Celtics had to make decisions that would favor the team and Allen had to make a decision that would be best for him. It's most likely his last professional contract and the Heat is where his NBA career will come to an end. Sure, the Celtics will be contenders in the East, but the Heat will start next season as the best team in the NBA. Now with Allen they are set to make a run at a second straight championship. The Celtics tarnished their relationship with Allen over the past few seasons, so you can't blame him for wanting to end his career on his terms.
You know the basketball gods are going to make it so the Heat have to go through Boston in order to win another championship. And as a basketball fan, you wouldn't want it any other way.
TL;DR Ray Allen decided to leave Boston and sign with the Miami Heat, a move the Celtics can only blame themselves for.
Ray Allen joining Miami Heat [ESPN]
Posted by Mowry under Sports