- Faith & Family
There were various issues that chased Ray Allen away from the Boston Celtics and into the arms of the enemy. Suddenly, everything appeared to make sense as the game’s greatest persuader, Pat Riley, showed Ray Ray how much love he would receive in the 305. The big boss of the Miami Heat convinced Allen on never hearing his name in trade talks and a string of championships awaiting him. Yes, even after all these years, Allen needed to feel wanted again. So he embraced the recruiting and Riley seized the opportunity — no one does it better than Riles.
Allen played five seasons for the Celtics and helped them win the 2008 title. But one source close to Allen said when he came to Miami he got “respect that he wasn’t getting from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore.”
The Celtics had offered two years and $12 million — good cake 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.
Ainge and Rivers talked to Allen over and over on these issues in recent weeks, tried to smooth things over as best they could, but there was something that Allen couldn’t move past, something he no longer wanted to deal with —his troubled relationship with complicated point guard Rajon Rondo. The two simply do not like each other and even though they played well together on the court, off the court was a completely different story. In South Florida, Allen will feel quite at home, get lots of love, and less money — but winning kind of fixes things like that. Heat fans were giddy to hear that Allen, the league’s best three-point shooter, is joining the defending champs. The off season has just started but it’s already getting interesting. Free agency is well underway and guys are switching area codes daily. However, with the addition of Ray Allen, the Miami Heat just got a lot harder to beat.
The Sports Brothers, Jeff Fox & Ed Freeman, can be heard daily on WMEN 640 Sports.