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Doc takes the blame for Ray leaving

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) August 1, 2012 Celtics News, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo 14 Comments

I get the feeling Adrian Wojnarowski sat down for one breakfast with Doc Rivers and got enough material to feed a week’s worth of columns.

After a spectacular piece on Doc Rivers this morning, Woj checks in with another example of Doc at his best… as Doc takes most of the blame for Ray Allen’s departure.

“People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo,” said Rivers, who is working as an NBC analyst during the Olympics. “I’m the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I’m the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn’t mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.

“Think about everything [Allen] said when he left, ‘I want to be more of a part of the offense.’ Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, ‘That’s not Rondo’s fault.’ That’s what I wanted Rondo to do, and that’s what Rondo should’ve done. Because that’s Rondo’s ability. He’s the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He’s not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray.

“And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been a hypocrite. In the opening speech I make every year, I tell the team: ‘Every decision I make is going to be what’s good for the team, and it may not be what’s good for the individual.’”

Doc is doing what a good coach does…. take the blame.

Ray is pissed at Rondo?  Well, Rondo was just following orders, and I give the orders.

The only thing about this is that it comes a few weeks late (side note:  It hasn’t even been a month yet since this all went down… but it feels like it happened months ago).  Still, Doc is doing the right thing.  He’s sticking by his current players, taking the blame for a potentially disruptive element of the offseason, and moving on.

But to be clear on this… Rondo isn’t the only reason Ray was pissed.  He hated being mentioned in trade talks.  He didn’t want to come off the bench.  And the Rondo thing… just the cherry on top of a shit sundae for Ray by the end of his time in Boston.

The sad thing for Ray is that we all thought he was a little different than that.  I understand where he’s coming from, but trades are part of the business.  Hell, Ray’s been traded twice.  He knows that’s the case.  He also knows he had an expiring contract and a desirable skill set.  If the C’s weren’t shopping him at a point last season when the team was struggling, he should certainly understand that the NBA vultures would try to swoop in on a struggling team and try to pluck away a great asset like Ray Allen.

But it bugged him.  Maybe his NBA mortality is making him increasingly sensitive to these things.  The hardest thing for an athlete to accept is that he physically can’t do “it” anymore.  In their heads, they’re always that 25-year-old kid who can rely on the physical tools to be called upon at will.  The slow realization that it takes a couple of more picks to get open… or that the dribble drives result in more turnovers than they used to… or that the guy you’re defending is getting by you a lot more often… is a major blow to the ego.  And for guys who are as proud as Ray Allen, that sometimes manifests itself as outward anger.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ray say in an interview down the road that his anger towards the Celtics was as much about being angry about his own decline as it was anger about the situation with the Celtics.  It will have to be way down the road, though, because that pride needs to subside before he can admit something like that.

Rondo can be a pain in the ass.  We know that.  But the other guys on the team have accepted that he’s the leader on the floor.  I’m sure Rondo can handle certain things what we’ll never hear about in a better way because we know how stubborn he can be.  That’s why Doc’s mediated things between the two of them.

But Ray chose a different path.  That’s his choice.  And Doc is choosing, quite wisely, to absorb whatever hit there might exist in the wake of this, defend his team as strongly as they defend opponents on the floor, and move forward towards what the Celtics, and we, hope will be a chance to spoil Ray’s title hopes in Miami.

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  • mrchumpy

    Classy as ever. Says the right things, keeps it simple.

  • Lee in Oregon

    I love Doc. Ray, on the other hand, is coming off like a spoiled prima-donna. The more I hear about this, the worse he comes off.

  • colaroaster

    since when is ray a marquee corner stone player? it wouldn’t be surprising next year he avg’s 10 pts and opts out. celt’s moved on and got better. ray can kiss my ass.

  • Lakerhater

    Doc did a great job clearing the air about rondo. As for Ray, pride always preceeds the fall.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Post title should read :

    “Doc takes the CREDIT for Ray leaving”

  • Ray

    Can’t believe Doc takes the blame for Ray Allen leaving.Ray left because he doesn’t know how to be part of a team good luck with Lebron

  • PakkAttackk

    “The sad thing for Ray is that we all thought he was a little different than that.”

    That perfectly describes how I feel about Ray Allen. I really thought he was above this but then again Ray is human & humans have emotions.

  • thebantam

    I don’t understand why are WE so pissed? Maybe the shock of going to Memphis is what got him here. Maybe he believes that the Heat won’t be sellers at the trade deadline next year, (very unlikely), and we’ve all said the C’s are one injury to PP or KG away from an irrelevant 2012/13, in which case he’s right back on the trading block.

    I believe everything Doc has said, and this is a ‘what if’. But I believe this all started going south after the retracted trade to Memphis.

    • chris

      While a Paul Pierce injury would cause some problems, it would not render our season irrelevant. Rondo on the other hand would be difficult to cover. Paul showed he could play point forward well enough when Rondo went down last year, but I don’t see that a viable option long term.

      You’re spot on with KG though, and that’s our greatest concern. Our great “team defense” crumbled when KG was off the floor and I’m still unsure how Doc will be able to limit his minutes, let alone cover him in the event of injury.

  • dwade

    well, doc get ready to be pummeled by the Heat ray ray will drown your team with 3s. can’t shoot Rondo will be exposed again and again

  • paul

    Ainge MUST learn to cool it with the Ainge Express. But Ray has been revealed as, it seems, a surprisingly small person. Has anyone figured out yet that he was the one backstabbing Rondo ion the media via Jacky and others?

  • WinstonSalems

    Whatever. He’s gone and not coming back. There’s no sense in crying over spilled milk. However, this says it all:

    “Ray’s got to do what’s best for Ray,” Rivers said, “but having said that, he’s not going to start in Miami. And I doubt he gets the ball more. But I do think, for a guy like Ray and Paul and Kevin and Kobe [Bryant], it’s easier to go somewhere and do that than have it taken from you where you’re at.”

    If Ray is going to play second fiddle, he might as well do so behind D Wade, an accomplished two time champion and top 10 scorer; rather than Avery Bradley, a kid 3 years removed from High School who hasn’t even played a full season yet. It was an emotional decision by Ray to leave Boston but clearly, it wasn’t too difficult.

  • Matthew

    nice column

  • Boobaka Ow

    Doc: “It was my fault… that Ray left because he was a selfish baby.”