If you couldn’t tell by the title this post is about Ray Allen, former sharp shooter for your Boston Celtics. He became a Celtic in a trade during what is known as one of, if not THE best draft day in team history. Teaming up with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce he got to two NBA Finals and winning one. Now, although not breaking news, he has signed with the Miami Heat. This is big, not only because he left Boston but, because he joined the team which most Celtics fan despise and as LeBron did before him decided to “take his talents to South Beach.”
The general consensus in Boston is that Allen is a traitor but I’m not as quick to make this judgement. I didn’t post or generate an opinion right away because I wanted to assess the situation and break down his choice. Once I did this it almost seemed like almost a no brainer for him to leave. At the base of it all, after this season, he seems to be more of the fourth guy on the team as opposed to part of the Big 3 like he used to be, which in Boston it seems he has been replaced by Rajon Rondo in that role. In Miami he keeps this same fourth man spot with what seems to be an overall better Big 3.
The writing seemed to be on the wall with all the Celtics moves as well. Allen had been supplanted by Avery Bradley in the starting lineup and possibly replaced on the bench with the signing of Jason Terry, also a sharp shooter off the bench. Also, as much as a class act as Allen is, and he is about as classy as they come, every athlete has an ego and you have to imagine his must have been at least slightly bruised by the attempts to trade him by Boston. With all the clean looks that players such as Mike Miller and Shane Battier got throughout the playoffs you’d have to think that factored in the decision as well.
I guess if you were to boil down my thoughts I can’t blame the guy for leaving. As a fan I’m disappointed but when I take off my green tinted glasses I see why he made that choice. We always want our athletes, as fans, to make decisions based on winning and not based on money and that’s exactly the case here. Boston offers more money but, in his eyes at least, Miami offers a better chance for a title. In the end I know Ray Allen will say all the right things and go about this as the stand up guy he is.
Until Next Time,
Not so fast, didn’t think you were really done with our rant did you? When news first broke that Ray was Miami-bound I was super bummed out. But then I put it into perspective, Mr. Allen would have been crazy to stay in Boston and here is why:
Role: Boston or Miami he is coming off the bench, that is inevitable. As Brandon mentioned with the newly acquired Jason Terry and the late return of Avery Bradley his minutes and role on the team would have slipped dramatically.
Rings: Let’s be honest, Miami is built for the future while Boston is on the tail end of the now. Granted the new drafts and signings are hopeful, the Heat are already the Vegas favorite to repeat.
Rondo: Whether either is willing to admit it or not, Allen and Rondo had a roadblock off the court. Ray mentioned the first people he told were Paul and Kevin, not even mentioning a whiff of Rajon. I have a feeling Ray will get a lot more looks this coming season than he did this past, leaving Rondo to mature with his selection.
Respect: This is a no brainer. The Celtics tried to trade Ray twice and actually succeeded once. Danny called Ray to tell him he was shipped out only for Doc to follow up twenty minutes later to tell him he was staying put after O.J. Mayo declined the deal. When you put someone out on the line multiple times it plays with their psyche and creating a feeling that they are disposable.
In addition to the four R’s of Ray’s departure his ailing injuries had to be a key factor. The Heat are a better fit for him based on this one theory alone. Ray has some of the best movement without the ball that the NBA has ever seen. He has patented coming off a screen only to catch and shoot with his effortless quick release. I’d love to see the numbers, but I’m willing to bet that LeBron and Wade draw more double teams than anyone else in the league. When the extra defender leaves Ray all alone, he no longer has to fight to get open which is a huge benefit to the ankle injury he has been fighting off. With all the time in the world to cuff the open jumper, in addition to less strain on he muscles is enough reason for me.
Best of luck to you Mr. Allen. You are the true meaning of hard work on the parquet and a true gentleman of a role model off. And for anyone still on the bandwagon of “Ray is the new Johnny Damon” or “Judas Shuttlesworth” , Ray said in his press conference that one of the greatest moments in his time in Boston came in Game 6 of the Conference Finals as the Boston faithful were chanting “Let’s Go Celtics” in the closing seconds as Miami closed out a twenty point victory. Thanks for the five amazing years Ray.