How will Ray Allen be received when the Miami Heat visit the Garden next season?
Judging from the outcry over Allen's departure to Miami, not well. Had he gone to the Clippers, Grizzlies or any other port but Miami and it would have been "thanks for the memories, best of luck." But the Miami Heat are to the Celtics now what the Yankees are to the Red Sox and what the Jets are to the Patriots - public enemies #1. So what are we to make of Allen's decision to pass up a 2 year \$12 million deal from the Celtics for a 3 year \$9 million deal from the Heat?
You can't say he moved for the money, Allen had plenty of other reasons to take his talents to South Beach. Over the past two winters Danny Ainge floated Allen as trade bait. This past season the Celtics thought they had a deal moving Allen to the Memphis Grizzlies, the deal fell through AFTER Danny Ainge told Allen he was being traded. That was the beginning of the end of Ray Allen as a Celtic. Allen feared the same scenario this year or next if he took the Celtics deal. If he was dealt by the Celtics it would have been labeled as "part of the business." But by leaving the Celtics on HIS terms, Allen is labeled by many as a traitor. Doesn't seem fair does it.
Allen didn't think it was fair that Kevin Garnett AND Jason Terry received three year deals while he was only offered two years. So he made the move before someone made it for him and Celtics fans should wish him well, stand and cheer when he revisits the Garden. Save for his ankle injury this season Allen was an everyday player during his five seasons as well as the deadliest shooter ever to wear green. He was instrumental in the 2008 title run and don't ever forget that in the clinching game 6 Allen drained 7 three pointers one day after his young son was diagnosed with diabetes. Ray Allen was a workaholic, a good citizen of the community and most important of all - a Celtic. For those who ever played pro basketball there is no higher honor or compliment.
Good Luck Ray, you served us well!