As Ray Allen continues to flap his gums now that he is surrounded by the games biggest prima-donnas, one has to wonder if he is not only burning the bridge, but blowing the thing sky-high between he and Boston. The burns were bad enough that Ray opted to take less money to join the Celtics biggest rival of this generation, but as if that were not enough Ray has used every opportunity speaking with the media to blast Boston and his time there. With that in mind, one has to wonder whether Ray Allen now deserves to be in the rafters among the Celtics greats.
Think of the names in the rafters of the TD Garden, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek… the best of the best that have ever worn the white and green. Some were lesser known such as Bill Sharman, Jim Loscutoff, or KC Jones but all held themselves to one universal standard of honor, Celtics Pride. What Celtics Pride is may vary based on who you ask, but the synopsis of every definition is to conduct oneself with integrity, to play your hardest, and to represent the Boston Celtics as a true professional organization. Living by this standard is exactly why the players and coaches that have been honored in the rafters are where they are. It is they, that are the measuring stick for determining who deserves such an honored tradition. There are a few players in this current generation of the Celtics that have a legitimate case that they belong or are well on their way, and to be blunt… Ray Allen isn’t one of them.
Ray Allen is a future Hall of Famer, anyone that tells you any differently is on some combination of drugs. He was great in Milwaukee, fantastic at times in Seattle and solid in Boston; there is no doubt that Ray Allen will still be good in Miami, it isn’t for a lack of talent that keeps Ray Allen from the rafters. Ray Allen clearly has not bought into the mantra of Celtics Pride both during and after his time in Boston. In recent days, Allen has spent every opportunity that he has been given with the media, to slam the Celtics and his former teammates. Allen claims that he was essentially forced out of Boston, that Boston made a business decision (despite the fact that Boston offered him double what Miami did). Allen has sworn off his former teammates and thrown them under the bus at times with his comments, and even his coach. If this is an example of conducting oneself with Celtics pride, I’d love to hear how.
During his time in Boston, everyone thought Ray Allen was the consummate professional; minded his own business, showed up to work early, and just did his job. We saw ruffles of a bit of an attitude from Ray here and there but never thought anything of it. It wasn’t until after he left the Celtics that we heard about what really went on behind the closed doors of the Celtics locker rooms. Allen was moody with some of his teammates, separating himself from his teammates at times, he allowed trade rumors to get to him instead of being a professional and understanding this is a business. (despite the fact that almost every Celtics player in the past 5 years has been involved in at least a few trade rumors) and most importantly, he despised taking a lesser role on the team, despite the fact that it was what was best for the team. This is the single biggest example of Anti-Celtics pride that I could think of.
Back in the 60s, for those that aren’t too in touch with Celtics history, there was a player by the name of Frank Ramsey. Ramsey, a Kentucky native, was an extremely talented guard and came to Boston with a great reputation after a solid college career. Coach Red Auerbach was forced in a predicament throughout Sharmans career. The Celtics had two Hall of Fame guards other than Ramsey during his tenure in Boston, KC Jones and Bill Sharman. Despite the fact that Ramsey deserved to be a starter, he took (and essentially created) the role of the Sixth Man, making his team better not by providing what he can in the starting five, rather coming off the bench.
Ramsey is honored in the rafters for this sacrifice and earned his way to the Basketball Hall of Fame in the meantime. The comparison here is fair because Ramsey took a lesser role in what was best for the team rather than allowing personal greed to stand in the way of winning. Ray Allen, had he learned from the book of Celtics Pride would have taken note of this sacrifice when Avery Bradley took the starting role at the Shooting Guard position in 2012. Instead we hear of Ray Allen feeling “unwanted” after being “benched”. In Allen’s eyes, it was being “benched” rather than doing whatever the team needed him to do in order to win. This selfish mentality lead him to the poor attitude that likely was a contributing factor in a rift between Allen and other teammates.
Allen made the choice to leave behind the Celtics, he let his emotions get in the way of doing what what right. He clearly didn’t do it for the money, since he took a pay cut to go to Miami, he didn’t do it for a chance at a ring because it could be said that while the Heat may be have the two best players between the two, the Celtics are clearly the deeper team and depth is what wins championships, and he sure as heck didn’t do it to be a part of the storied history of the Miami Heat. He did it to stick one to Boston, to stick it right in the cities craw. He snubbed not only his teammates, his coaches, and the organization as a whole but he has snubbed the fans. He did what he did to get back at the team you love, to intentionally hurt the players you love, and the coaches you love. As a fan that whole heartedly loves the Boston Celtics, I find no scenario where I ever cheer for Ray Allen again, nor where Ray Allen belongs in the rafters among the other Celtics Greats. Greats sacrifice much for the betterment of the team, what did Ray Allen sacrifice for your team?