Many people wondered why Ray Allen would leave more money and uproot his family from Boston to go to the Miami Heat. Â Although he has a better opportunity at another ring in Miami, that isn’t the only reason. Â Read more after the jump.
The issues chasing Ray Allen out of the Boston Celtics and into the arms of their most despised opponent stacked higher and higher, and suddenly everything crystallized in the hours basketballâ€™s most persuasive recruiter, Pat Riley, captivated him. The emperor of the Miami Heat sold Allen on never hearing his name in trade talks and a run of championships awaiting him. After all these years, Allen needed to feel wanted again, needed the recruiting, and Riles had such a willing soul sitting with him in the breeze blowing over Biscayne Bay.
Ray Allen played five seasons for the Celtics and helped them win the 2008 title. “He felt he was getting respect that he hadnâ€™t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore,” a source close to him said Friday night. “â€¦The presentation was incredible.”
Respect comes in different ways, but make no mistake: The Celtics had offered two years and $12 million â€“ respect for someone’s who’s 37 and coming off ankle surgery â€“ and it didnâ€™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 didnâ€™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 over the lingering bitterness, but there was something that Allen couldnâ€™t move past, something he no longer wanted to deal with â€“ the deterioration of his relationship with complicated point guard Rajon Rondo.
For all the past indignities â€“ real or imagined â€“ Rondo was the issue that hadnâ€™t gone away, that would still be there come training camp. They donâ€™t like each other, and it had become a bigger and bigger drag on Allen, sources said. Each had culpability for why things had gone awry, and yet each was better on the court because he had played with the other.
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