Double the money and a no-trade clause from the Boston Celtics couldn’t sway Ray Allen from signing with the Miami Heat.
Two grueling days of recruitment for the Heat, and waiting for the Celtics, ended when Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted “It’s 2:30 a.m. in London and I was just woken up with great news. Welcome to the family -No. 20”.
Who knew 140 characters could hurt so much if you’re a Celtics fan.
Allen left Miami Friday afternoon after staying an extra day in the South Florida sun to weigh his options. He gave no indication as to which way he was leaning once he left and a report came out about Allen being “torn” on his decision.
In the end he chose a 3-year deal worth $9 million to join Miami and is already being deemed a traitor by Boston diehards. Those same folks forget or may not even know that Ray Allen was essentially traded earlier last season for O.J. Mayo.
The deal was agreed to, then Mayo reportedly stated he would not sign an extension to stay in Boston and the deal was nixed. The problem is that Ray was informed of the decision and then was informed the decision was nullified.
Instead of pouting Lamar Odom style and demanding a trade right then, Allen played on even though he was scarred by the near transaction. He remained professional, fought through bone spurs, and volunteered to come off the bench behind a second year player…but something was different.
For a long stretch Allen was witnessed high tailing it out of the locker room following Celtics games, both wins and losses. He returned to his more cordial and endearing self once the playoffs started seemingly embracing his last huh-rah with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
Following the Celtics loss to the Heat in the Conference Finals, Allen mentioned how Pierce and Garnett are family and that when he calls them years from now “They better answer the phone” he joked.
He will likely really have to wait the years he eluded to as Garnett and Pierce might feel too spurned to answer his call now.
While Allen’s relationship with Pierce and KG is family like it is not the same with Rajon Rondo. The diva-like point guard could have been a major factor for Allen’s move to Miami and Boston is clearly Rondo’s team now. The two reportedly have had an on and off relationship that turned icy during the later part of the season. Nobody in Boston is confirming that report but they aren’t denying it either. The truth will come out but for now its just speculation.
From a basketball standpoint the move makes sense for both the Heat and Celtics. It really does.
Miami gets the sharp shooting Allen who will feast on the open looks LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will create for him. He may set another career high in three-point percentage next season as the Heat look to repeat as NBA champions.
On the Boston side of things the $12 million over two years with a no-trade clause offer would have been a vast overpayment. Let’s just call it what it really was…a feeble apology to Allen for almost trading him.
The Celtics acquired Jason Terry earlier in the week which also played into Allen’s decision but Terry fits what Boston needs better. As great as Allen is he is not a special defender nor can he create his own shot. Terry doesn’t add defense but he gives the Celtics bench scoring in a major way and is another playmaker…something Boston desperately lacks.
Allen’s departure essentially ends the Celtics “Big 3″ era like a kiss of death. But before we label him a Judas or Anakin Skywalker for switching to what would be considered the Celtics dark side, understand he played his contract out and the Celtics drew first blood.
Ray will be missed in the locker room more than anywhere else for the Celtics. His departure is emotional for Boston but it is less damaging than that of Kendrick Perkins a season ago. Timing is everything and Ray picked a good time to leave.
Whenever the NBA schedule is released circle the dates that the Miami Heat play the Boston Celtics. It will be emotional and epic and Ray Allen…well Ray will be the classy professional he has always been.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com