It was never about money. The Celtics offered Ray Allen a two-year deal worth $12 million. Miami offered him what they could, which was only $9 million over three years. If Allen wanted to make as much cash as he could before ending his NBA career, he would still be wearing green. Instead, he has decided to sleep with the enemy. The feeling of betrayal Boston fans are coping with has inspired them to come up with nicknames like “Judas Shuttlesworth” and “Benedict Allen.” Despite those hard feelings, Allen says he will always be a Celtic.
“Forever, I’ll always be a Celtic,” he told the Boston media on Wednesday according to the Boston Herald. “Boston has so many great fans who were pivotal in being part of homecourt advantage, that that’s what I look forward to. People, if they don’t like me, doesn’t change who I am. My character isn’t going to change. I’m the same person. It’s unfortunate, but I can’t do anything about it.”
Doc Rivers made it clear that he does not agree with Allen’s decision for leaving Boston, and the Celtics coach may be right that Ray’s feelings were hurt by the team’s commitment to bringing back Kevin Garnett when the offseason began. Allen is a year older than K.G., but he felt as though the lengths of their contract offers should have been the same.
“When Kevin (Garnett) signed I was excited for him,” Allen explained. “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.”
Allen talked about how he felt under-appreciated in the Celtics offense and how he is excited to play in a more “high octane offense” like Miami’s. When asked about his reportedly strained relationship with Rajon Rondo, Ray refused to comment. The bottom line is Allen is no different from a lot of other professional athletes. Celtics fans may not agree, but the 16-year veteran and future Hall of Famer wanted his ass kissed this offseason. Danny Ainge and company simply weren’t willing to pucker hard enough.
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