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Red's Army

A bittersweet goodbye to Walter Ray Allen

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) July 7, 2012 Free Agency, Ray Allen 45 Comments

Ray Allen was the reason the Celtics won a championship in 2008.

It all started in 2007, when Danny Ainge got the Seattle Sonics to take Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and their #1 pick (Jeff Green, the fifth pick, which was a horribly low pick for the second worst team in the league) to Seattle for Ray Allen and their second round pick (Glen Davis).  When the Celtics were trying to woo Kevin Garnett and pry him from Minnesota’s icy grip, it was the move for Ray Allen that made Garnett believe the Celtics were serious about building a contender.

Without Ray, there would be no KG.  And without either of them, there’s no banner up in the rafters.

It’s been five years since then.  Ray Allen has helped the Celtics win countless games.   He’s come up big time and time again.   He even led me to my favorite internet find… “Clutch Jesus” (a perfect play on his nickname Jesus Shuttlesworth from the movie “He Got Game” and his penchant for drilling mega-huge three-pointers).  But the steady march of time leaves countless bodies trampled beneath its boots.  And Ray is no exception.

He will be 37 before the month is over.  He is coming off of ankle surgery.  His skills are declining steadily.  He has been left with one, undeniable ability, though:  The ability to launch a basketball great distances with great precision.  That skill showed itself once again against Miami, where his clutch 3’s were part of why the Celtics damn near beat the eventual champions.  We didn’t realize it was an audition.

Fans will vilify him for the treachery of joining a rival.  I’ve already seen “Judas Shuttlesworth” about a dozen times since this news broke last night.  And while I hate the idea of a wide open Ray in the corner hitting a 3 against the Celtics, I’m not going to hate him for it.

The man was a free agent.  After 16 years in the league and three trades, he had earned the right to make his own decision on where he wanted to play.   And if part of his reasoning is to stick it to the group that had tried to trade him twice, so be it.  I can’t rightfully ask him to be loyal to a team had actually traded him to Memphis, only to have that trade fall apart at the last minute.  If we’re going to scream loyalty, then we have to scream it for both sides.  And quite frankly, that doesn’t exist.

Welcome to the business side of basketball, folks.

I’m horribly disappointed in how it all played out.  I’m sad at the fact that he’s gone, and there really was never anything we could do to stop it.  I’m disappointed that personality conflicts couldn’t be worked out between Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.

And I’m disappointed that Ray Allen’s legacy has been tarnished in so many people’s eyes.  You are well within your rights to believe what you want to believe.  If you want to call him a traitor, or “Judas” or whatever else… that’s your choice and your right.

I’m not going to do it.  The man gave his heart and soul here for five years.  He never once complained publicly, nor did he ever act as anything besides a professional.  The business side took over this summer, and that’s a jarring thing to witness for so many of us.

This is how the sausage is made.  This ugly, “I hate this guy,” “you tried to trade me,” “you’re too old to warrant that money” stuff is the business side of the game we love.  Ray made a choice that works for him.

I will wish him a fond farewell.  I thank him for everything he’s done.   I’d also love to wish him the best…

But I can’t.

What I’m wishing is for his jumper to join the rest of him in slowly degenerating now.  What I’m wishing is he walks into that Heat locker room, hears the blaring music controlled by LeBron James, notices a level of professionalism a couple of notches below the Celtics locker room, and thinks to himself, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Because the one thing Ray is also going to realize is when business takes you to the rival, you become the enemy once you pull that jersey over your head.  So when you come to Boston and 17,000 people boo you mercilessly (after giving him one last ovation… let’s be civil about this), you’ll realize the same thing you’re thinking right now.

It’s just business.

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  • Lee in Oregon

    It’s not really goodbye, it’s more like “see ya later & f—- you”. Apparently the feeling is mutual too. I hope Avery Bradley is healthy enough to shut that old man down the next time the C’s play them. Ray stuck it to us, but he’ll regret that decision someday when he reads in the paper that KG’s #5 (or better yet, Rondo’s) is being retired forever. This wasn’t business, it was personal.

    • vivek NJ

      I agree. I think he wanted to go to a team that would beat boston and possibly a ring. I think 3 major reasons that hurt him are becoming bench guy, getting traded and rondo. Although I don’t know how bad is the rift with rondo.

  • TJames

    Well said… Agree 100%.

  • Erik

    I really hope the Garden doesn’t boo Ray when he comes back to play there, regardless where he went he’s done a lot for the team, and it’s just not worth the bad blood.

  • colaroaster

    pathetic. no need to weep over a business decision. move on for christ sake

    • http://www.rayallen20.com DieHahd

      Funny, but you’re the only one doing any weeping from what I can read.

  • NineSevenEight

    Well said. Ray’s role was diminishing here as the team’s been transitioning towards the future. I’ll always love Ray Allen, the Celtic. Business is business. Time to move on.

  • http://www.zzzdmd.com Patrick McCarty

    We need to figure out a way to acquire Elton Brand or Marcus Camby. We will not miss Ray as much if we have someone who can grab a rebound underneath!

  • http://thegreatoutthere.blogspot.com Matt W

    Agreed. One last cheer for Ray Allen when they do the dedication video for him, then it’s all boos.

  • BradinFL

    Nice article, i enjoyed it.

  • Art

    How could it be business when he tosses away three million bucks that would have doubled his pay check? I agree – this was personal all the way. And Ray Allen has a king sized ego that none of us ever knew about. Wow. The truth about Ray rears its ugly head.

  • kricky

    He was a consummate pro while he was here. I can’t sway there was one thing he did wrong in 5 years.

    But he left in the worst possible way. The only thing missing was a 1 hour ESPN special.

    That’s just too much to stomach right now. Maybe one day we can forgive and forget. But not Today.

  • Josh

    Benedict Arnold joins the Miami Heat to “win”. Can you ever imagine Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Magic losing a Conference Finals game 7 to their biggest rival the year before joining that rival ???? the answer is NO. Fuck you Ray Allen and your 30% playoff 3pt percentage. Go join the band of arrogant assholes in Miami. See ya in the Eastern Conference Finals you chump. If you had went to ANY other team in the league I would have respected your decision, but this is treason. We used to hang folks in this town for that shit.

    IN AVERY BRADLEY WE TRUST

    • Jay

      Well said!

    • Alberto A. Ramirez

      Well-said, Josh. It couldn’t have been expressed any better.

  • Jester00

    My all time favorite thing to during the live chats to was clutch Jesus now we can see it on twitter when sugar ray airballs a 3 against the C’s

  • RedsLoveChild

    Ray was never shy about stating how he always does what`s “best for his family”…..so, he signs with Miami for less money AND moves his son 1,500 miles from his doctors?!?

    Way to go, hypocrite!

    • Alberto A. Ramirez

      Another accurate hit there, RedsLoveChild!

  • RedsLoveChild

    The day we needed Ray to deliver more than any other : Game 7 in LA {6-17-10}

    Without an injured Perk, without a fully recovered KG…we absolutely needed Ray to shoot the lights out in order to win banner 18.

    Ray gave us a 3-for14 performance….{just 5-for-14 would have gotten us the title}

  • Jester00

    Not cool dude

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    It doesn’t really hurt that Ray left, it hurts that he went to the Heat. He had to be the first Big 3 to go, and at 37 with old man ankles and poor defense, it’s not so bad. And he really needs plays built for him (triple picks off the low post), to even have a chance of getting of a 3-he can’t go one on one and get his shot, like a Pierce or even KG does.

    What now? Getting Terry was already the answer to the “what now?” Now, we need Rondo to improve his jumper (which last season was a little better), Bradley needs to keep hitting his shots, one of the rooks (or JJ) needs to step up, AND we pray for a healthy roster in the playoffs….

    And maybe get Kaman/Perk somehow?

  • sambot5k

    Folks, as much as it stinks to lose Ray, I urge you all to keep the commentary civil and decent. Wishing death and disease onto a player or his family is idiotic, and it makes Celtic Nation look awful.

    • http://www.redsarmy.com KWAPT

      Amen.

    • sambot5k

      Secondly, I will be wielding a ban hammer.

  • http://www.redsarmy.com KWAPT

    Sorry for these hateful comments folks-working on banning all of these idiots..

  • http://www.redsarmy.com KWAPT

    Sorry for these hateful comments above folks-working on banning all of these idiots. You don’t post things about someone’s children and family like that. Totally lame.

    • http://thegreatoutthere.blogspot.com Matt W

      Agreed. Keep it classy, Boston. He’s a basketball player. He didn’t join Al Qauda.

  • Adamn

    point blank!

  • Scott

    Boston is going to be fine basketball wise. Ease up everybody. Let’s get AB healthy, and Danny will fill out the rest of the roster with quality character guys.

  • Danny Bonnadicci

    Everyone needs to chillax on Ray Allen. The guy was our eighth man! Not that big of a deal to lose him, and I guarantee we would’ve bemoaned paying him $6 million a year in six months time.

    Also, I agree with keeping the site clean. Ray’s family is not at fault for betraying the Boston fan base.

  • zippittyay

    from twitter:

    <>

    • zippittyay

      from twitter:

      “Corinne Grousbeck
      ‏@cbgrousbeck

      Following

      At least we gained a new team member. ‪#Buck‬ pic.twitter.com/zhiWH2re”

      Name him rayray….

  • truut

    i thought his new contract had a no-trade clause in it. so the celtics were loyal to him in the future.

    sorry for bad english
    big celtic fan out of germany

  • Throwdown

    Good deal Ray Allen, Get your ring this season. Boston is done!

  • Brick James

    I stopped reading at “Ray Allen was the reason the Celtics won a championship.”

    • Brick James

      Sorry John to disrespect your piece. Still upset with Judas but have to disagree that he was the reason the Cs won in ’08.

  • Chris H

    I think the thing that’s disappointing is that he had a chance for it NOT to be business. He had so much goodwill in NE that if he resigned that would have been cemented and he always would be a NE favorite, “one of ours”. That Teddy Brusci kind of love that he always was “For us”. Even if he took a detour elsewhere (i.e Ainge), he would always be remembered as a Celtic first. Now, there is a very real possibility he went there to stick it to the C’s and by extension, their fans.

    That’s a whole lot of goodwill to piss on and that’s the most disappointing thing. Business is business true, but to dyed in the wool fans, it’s NEVER just business.

  • paul

    Many of us HAVE been screaming for loyalty on both sides. Just because you don’t call for it, don’t assume that we don’t.

  • frickenWaaaltaaah

    How much fail can the Miami Herald stuff into one paragraph? Special guest assist with the failing from Stan Van Gundy:

    The Heat’s playoff success re-affirmed that the team’s stars often do their best work when surrounded by skilled shooters that can spread the floor and give them space to operate. That’s why Miami’s addition of Ray Allen, among the supreme long-range shooters of his generation, holds such tantalizing possibilities. “Great pickup for the Heat,” former Magic and Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said in a text message Saturday. “Ray Allen is a great veteran player. Can play a Mike Miller role as a shooter. Mike has more size and is a great rebounder, but Ray is a great shooter and has stayed healthy, which Mike can’t do.”

    http://miamiherald.typepad.com/sports-buzz/2012/07/camby-postpones-heat-visit-sign-and-trade-discussed-van-gundys-others-reaction-%20to-allen-pickup.html

    OH MY GAWWWWDDDD I HATE THIS SO F***ING MUCH…

    Here is a slow motion replay where I telestrate all the fail for ya’ll:

    1. “The Heat’s playoff success re-affirmed that the team’s stars often do their best work when surrounded by skilled shooters that can spread the floor and give them space to operate.”

    hitting shots is good for winning, mmmk?

    you win by scoring more points than the other team, mmmk?

    2. “among the supreme long-range shooters of his generation.”

    Among them? AMONG THEM?!?!?!

    Yeah Ray is one of a bunch of guys in his generation to lead the NBA in total career 3’s made.

    The others are all named Ray Allen too, and nobody has ever seen them all in the same place at the same time.

    Enter the Stan Van…

    3. First, the brilliant tactical assessment: Ray Allen “can play a Mike Miller role as a shooter.”

    See, because Mike Miller shoots the ball, and so does Ray. So that makes Ray Allen their new Mike Miller.

    4. Next, Stan demonstrates his awareness of scouting reports:

    “Mike has more size and is a great rebounder, but Ray is a great shooter and has stayed healthy, which Mike can’t do.”

    Nyah ha ha! At last, the Heat have acquired a healthy version of Mike Miller!

    Seriously, did he read a scouting report that only covered from the knees up or something?

    concluding thoughts:

    The Heat have just acquired our 1963 Ferarri 250 GTO and they are doing donuts and burn outs with it at their local Walmart parking lot, grinding the gears, and letting local teenagers stand on it taking pictures with their camera phones, flashing gang signs they looked up on the internets.

    [head explodes]

    • frickenWaaaltaaah

      I deleted this part the first time because it was mean. But this is not a normal event. I do believe that in cases such as these, it is for the best to just let it all out now…

      3. Ray Allen “can play a Mike Miller role as a shooter.”

      What is the “Mike Miller role” and can Ray Allen actually perform it?

      The “Mike Miller role” as far as I was aware, was standing around with his hands on his knees or sitting on the bench looking like the king of the trailer park and distracting all the trailer trash girls that happen to be watching the game.

      Ray is going to need some greasy hair and a bunch of ugly tattoos or he won’t be able to fulfill this key role the Heat are apparently trying to fill.

      Also,

      SONOFA @$*%U@)$ *Y@ )$*%@# %^@)*% MOTHERF@$)^I@JGNWETNWET
      WARGGGHHHRHAAHAHAHAAGAHHHHHH…

  • dwayne wade

    the ship is sinking, Boston will be lucky to reach the 1st round. lol. While the Heat collects rings year after year Bosdone can just watch how great are the Heat! Ray will have more rings than Rondoid, KG and Paul “wheelchair” Pierce. What now Cs? I heard Antoine Walker is looking for a job! lmfao!

    • Caterpillar from Italy

      Bosdone?

      Poor guy.

  • eric

    lol guys a heat fan and cant even spell dwyane wades name right… incredible

  • bigpartymaker

    Wow, reading these reactions would make me love to “betray” this fan base. Ray, or any other man in the NBA, don’t owe you shit. Relax, wish him luck, and compete against him. A bunch of drama queens calling this guy a traitor.

  • Chris H

    Ray you gave up this, for life. Oh well..