With the chance to digest the Ray Allen to Miami deal over the last few days, and the reluctance to post a spur of the moment instant reaction article (partially thanks to a crashed Hard Drive) the last few days have given me an opportunity to really think about the details of what went down, and it’s still pretty similar to how I felt when I heard the news for the first time (minus the expletives and slandering). Ray Allen stuck one to Celtics nation, as The Rock would say, he turned that thing sideways and stuck it right up our candy “butts”.
While the Allen apologists keep dancing around the “well he wanted to win another title” or “he was in trade rumors every year” shenanigans, I say if that is the case than good riddance. Any professional athlete will tell you that it really sucks to be a part of trade rumors, but they will also admit to you that it is a part of being a professional athlete, it’s a reality of their life. If that is the case than he isn’t as headstrong or as professional as we always said he was. Does Ray hate Milwaukee or Seattle for trading him? We never heard anything of this, so why would he have had his panties in a bunch about this time around?
As far as going to Miami to win a title, what does that say about his faith in his teammates, the Celtics organization, and to this fan base? His decision says that despite the moves that were made before his decision (KG resigned, Green was in works, the draft, Terry, ect ) he doesn’t think that the Celtics have a chance of making any noise in the East. That says that the ubuntu philosophy meant little to him “I am what I am because of who we all are”. Allen was a part of building this team up, making it a perennial contender, and then he decided to leave it all behind. The ubuntu philosophy was one that we were told made an impact on all of the Big Three’s lives, changing the way they think and operate both on and off the court, clearly for Allen it was an act.
For the history buffs out there such as myself, there was an individual known by the name of Benedict Arnold. Arnold was a general serving in the American Revolutionary war who plotted to surrender a colonial fort to the British. Arnold developed anti colonial sentiments due to the fact that he was passed up for a promotion and after some widely publicized rifts with John Brown and James Easton. Arnold was once described by Easton: “Money is this man’s God, and to get enough he would sacrifice his country.” Arnold chose to switch sides to the British out of spite for what he considered to be many injustices against him.
Maybe there was something to the Rondo/Ray rift, but it is far more likely that Allen made this move out of spite. With more reports surfacing that confirm this, Allen will no longer be viewed as the squeaky clean good guy in Boston, rather Johnny Damon 2.0. Allen had legitimate offers from the Clippers and Grizzlies, teams that both could make deep playoff runs next year and that he would likely have a much bigger role than he would in Miami or Boston (and get paid the same as Miami likely) but he chose the one team that Boston hates. The legacy of Ray Allen changed with “The Decision” to go to Miami instead of Boston. A return to Boston would have almost assured a trip to the rafters for #20 along with #5 and #34, instead he will be remembered as the complementary piece to the KG/ Pierce duo.
When I started writing this article, I didn’t intend for it to be a slander piece, but the more I wrote the harder I found it to have Ray Allen look like a good guy at all from this all. Loyalty in professional sports is a foreign concept, that is why we will never see a dynasty like the 60’s Celtics, players are no longer able to accept taking less to build something great, it is an individual game rather than a team game. It just so happens that we believed that Ray Allen had more class and was a better human being than to stoop to that level. It was a kick in the balls to Celtics nation, a fan base that gave him their all, got behind his charity at every event, got behind his chase for the three point record, and did all they could to make him feel at home for the past five seasons. Maybe Ray Allen wasn’t cut out for this city and the constant trade rumors, health questions or know it alls on talk radio…maybe he put on an act making us believe he was all about “Being a Celtic” but either way, he pulled a fast one on the entire organization and for that in my eyes he will always be known as Benedict Allen. Regardless of the fact that Benedict Arnold leaked information and switched over to the British forces, let us all remember which side came out on top. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side….