Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“He felt he was getting respect that he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore,” a source close to him said Friday night. “…The presentation was incredible.”
Respect comes in different ways, but make no mistake: The Celtics had offered two years and $12 million – respect for someone’s who’s 37 and coming off ankle surgery – and it didn’t matter to Allen. He hated the way Ainge dangled him in trade talks, hated that the Celtics told him he was on his way to Memphis in a deal at the March deadline only to have Rivers later tell him the trade was dead. Allen hated that Rivers didn’t give him his starting job back after he returned from a late-season ankle injury, and hated that it always felt like he was the Celtics star made to sacrifice above the rest.
For all the past indignities – real or imagined – Rondo was the issue that hadn’t gone away, that would still be there come training camp. They don’t like each other, and it had become a bigger and bigger drag on Allen, sources said. Each had culpability for why things had gone awry, and yet each was better on the court because he had played with the other.
Rondo has had a polarizing impact within the Celtics’ locker room, and his relationships with teammates and coaches have fluctuated over the years. Allen and Rondo never had arguments this year, never got into it. In fact, one source said: “Ray mostly ignored him.” After the season, Rivers tried his best to mend the relationship between Rondo and Allen – make it manageable on some level. And yet, as one source with direct knowledge of the coach’s efforts said, the relationship was “too far gone.”
Yet, it turns out Allen’s trip to South Beach made him feel so wanted, so inspired, and, truth be told, so eager to stick it to the Celtics. He could’ve broken Boston’s hearts and left for anywhere, but clearly there’s a part of Allen that wants to exact some kind of revenge on the Celtics. There was nowhere else to do that but Miami.
I’m stunned. Mouth agape, jaw to the floor stunned.
Did we even know the real Ray Allen? During his tenure here in Boston, we praised him as a true professional, a guy willing to sacrifice anything and everything for the team.
He did all of the above, albeit begrudgingly. And when Ray hit free agency and the Heat came knocking on his door, all the anger and jealousy he bottled up over the course of 5 years erupted to the surface.
I understand why Ray would be frustrated with the frequent trade talk, but it’s the selfishness that surprises me.
Ray was the man in Milwaukee and Seattle. During those 12 years, his teams made the playoffs four times. Four times! While his stats slowly dropped year to year here in Boston, he was routinely playing into May and June. Seems like a logical trade off to me.
Now for the elephant in the room – the beef with Rajon Rondo. Was it as simple as two guys not liking each other? Maybe. I’m sure there’s someone at your job that you can’t stand.
As Woj points out in his article, the personality clash never surfaced on the floor. From my perspective, Rondo knew where Ray was standing or going to be spotting up on just about every play.
If one guy had to go, it was Ray. Age is the obvious reason. Plus, Rajon Rondo has become the cornerstone of the franchise.
Does Ray think Miami’s locker room is ego free? Enjoy LeBron James’ massive entourage and Dwyane Wade’s tiffs with Erik Spoelstra. The Heat made you feel special now, but come October, you’ll be just another guy on the wing, see Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Mike Miller and Shane Battier.
For those wondering, “What now?” – check out this post by Chris Forsberg. The C’s can’t throw the $6 million allotted for Allen at another player. They have $2 million. Let’s hope Mickael Pietrus is willing to take the money.
The rest of the links:
Herald – Ray Allen spurns Celtics | Al Skinner sees more mature Sean Williams | Deal for Green looms | CSNNE – Ray leaves C’s for Heat | ESPN Boston – From Jesus to Judas | Why Allen loss is a double whammy | Globe – Allen agrees to deal with Heat | WEEI – Ray Allen’s complicated legacy and where C’s go from here |