Ray Allen: ‘Forever, I’ll always be a Celtic’

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.

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Doc Rivers does not agree with Ray Allen’s reasons for leaving Celtics for the Heat

For some reason Ray Allen thinks Celtics fans will understand why he left Boston for Miami, but he’s wrong. The Celtics would not have won a championship four years ago without Allen, but the fact that he took less money to join the enemy when Boston is attempting to gear up for another title run has not gone over well with the fans. It also sounds like it hasn’t sat well with Doc Rivers, who said his relationship with Allen won’t change but that he is “disappointed” with the shooting guard’s decision.

“Just because I disagree or I’m disappointed in Ray’s decision doesn’t change the way I feel about him,” Rivers said according to the Boston Herald. “He talked to me. It was a good talk. You know how I am. A guy makes his mind up, I’m not going to try and change it. I respect him for all he did for us, and I thought he should have stayed with us. Actually, you just have to let it go.”

When Avery Bradley replaced Allen as the Celtics’ starting shooting guard last season even after Allen returned from injury, it was no secret that Ray was unhappy. With Boston signing Jason Terry, that would have likely meant less minutes for Allen with three solid shooting guards in the mix. Combine that with rumors that Allen struggled to get along with Rajon Rondo last season and it’s not exactly shocking that he left. However, Rivers thinks his decision may have had something to do with the Celtics focusing on Kevin Garnett when the offseason began.

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Jarrett Jack thinks Ray Allen is a ‘traitor’ for choosing the Heat

After taking a few days to consider his options, Ray Allen decided to join the Miami Heat.

Allen spent the past five seasons in Boston and helped the Celtics reach two NBA Finals and win one championship. Although he was a free agent, many NBA observers — and Celtics fans in particular — feel that Allen betrayed Boston by signing with the team that beat them in the playoffs the past two seasons. Even Hornets guard Jarrett Jack chimed in with his opinion:

There is little doubt that the fan jersey burning will soon commence in Boston and that fans are hurt that Allen chose to sign with the Celtics’ biggest conference rival. But what did they expect?

We passed along a report in April that said Allen felt slighted by the Celtics and unsure if he wanted to return after the season. He was nearly traded to the Grizzlies, and he was benched in favor of Avery Bradley. On top of that, his relationship with Rajon Rondo was reportedly strained. All signs have been pointing toward Allen signing with the Heat, and it probably became even more enticing for him once LeBron James and the Heat started recruiting him as hard as they did.

Yet, despite all that, Allen was said to be “torn” between signing with the Heat and returning to Boston.

It’s easy for Jack to label Allen a “traitor” as an outsider, but he might feel differently had he been in Allen’s shoes this whole time.

H/T CJ Fogler
Photo credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Allen reportedly ‘torn’ between Heat and Celtics (UPDATE)

Erroneous news reports aside, Ray Allen still has yet to make a decision on the Miami Heat’s contract offer. Allen met with team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra for dinner Thursday night but left without giving them any commitment. Here’s more from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

The Heat offered Allen their mid-level exception, which starts at $3.09 million per season — or half of the Celtics’ offer of $6 million per year for two years. The most the Heat could offer is three years and $9.5 million. The sources did not go into specifics, saying Allen is torn because remaining a Celtic is still very much an option.

For over a week, rumors have swirled that Allen would join the NBA champs’ stockpile of future hall of famers (much to the collective moan of basketball fans outside of Florida). Even LeBron James has appeared quite hopeful at the idea. Even more so speaking to reporters after practice on Friday at Team USA training camp in Las Vegas.

“I haven’t talked to Ray,” LeBron said. “My sales pitch is we’re trying to win a championship every year and we got the pieces to do it. He’d be a great addition to our team. We would love to have him. He would play a big role in us trying to repeat and we’ll see what happens. Ray is a veteran guy, he understands what it means to win a championship and hopefully he’ll want to do it with us.”

It’s all up to Allen now. Do you side with loyalty and the money, or, when realizing your old team has already found your replacement, do you throw all that loyalty garbage out and say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” (which seems to be the latest rage these days)? That’s the decision Allen faces. Whatever he’s thinking, this much is clear: Ray Allen to the Heat might not be such a sure thing after all.

UPDATE (10:10 ET): According to several prominent NBA reporters via Twitter, Allen’s decided on the Heat. This after Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted this Friday night:

Miami news station reports Ray Allen to Heat because of fake Yahoo! Twitter account (Video)

Some of the fake Twitter accounts out there look incredibly real. Even if you know all of the ins and outs of the Twitter world, it’s not that difficult to be fooled into thinking a parody account is the real thing. That being said, there are a couple of very basic indicators you can look for. For starters, that little blue check mark that means it is a “verified” account. However, some pro athletes and legitimate reporters do not have the check mark, so that isn’t exactly a slam dunk. Another solid indication is the amount of followers a person has. Miami news station WSVN missed both of those late Thursday night.

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LeBron James recruits Ray Allen in tweet

Now that LeBron James has broken his self-imposed playoff Twitter sabbatical, he’s been tweeting like it’s his mission to make up for the last two months, sending totally amazing tweets about everything from seeing a Coldplay concert to dropping by David Letterman’s show to going to the dentist. Goodness gracious, how did we ever go two months without this man on Twitter?!

But during the draft Thursday night, LBJ actually gave us a tweet of substance, and it went like this:

LeBron and his son must have heard those reports about Ray Allen potentially signing with the Heat. Allen is on the last legs of his career and underwent surgery this month to remove bone spurs from his right ankle but would give the Heat a reliable option on the perimeter. The Celtics hope Allen will return to Boston, but the belief is Allen will be Miami-bound.

Now we can’t wait for the imminent news report about master whiner Dan Gilbert leveling tampering charges against LeBron.

Photo: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Allen is reportedly expected to sign with Heat, and that’s bad news for the NBA

The Heat are currently on the top of the NBA universe, but the frightening thing for the rest of the NBA is that they could be getting significantly better over the offseason. According to a number of reports, Ray Allen is expected to sign with Miami at some point in the near future. In terms of places to close out his Hall of Fame career, Miami has to be the best possible scenario for arguably the best three-point shooter in NBA history.

If the Heat had one glaring problem on offense this season, it was a lack of consistent shooting from the outside. Shane Battier is their most reliable shooter. Mike Miller filled that role off the bench in spurts — particularly in the clinching game of the NBA Finals — but back injuries plagued him throughout the season and prevented him from being that guy all the time. Allen is also coming off ankle surgery, but you have to believe he’d be a more reliable option than Miller.

For the Heat, Allen would play the same role he played for the Celtics when they won the title in 2008. At age 36, it can only benefit Ray to be on a team with two slashers like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. There would simply be no way to efficiently guard LeBron and D-Wade while also keeping tabs on where Allen is on the perimeter. If teams thought the Heat were too much to handle this season, a healthy Allen on the court with Battier could create nightmares.

Photo credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE