I wrote my thoughts on Ray Allen’s Decision. I’m writing again in response to this article from the Boston Globe:
He writes: “But Allen left us with more good memories than these last 48 hours could ever sour.” I really don’t know what he’s getting at here. If the point is to say we’re forgetting all the good times, I kind of think we aren’t. Greg Stiemsma is poised to spurn the Cs too, and nobody seems to be too upset by it. It’s because Ray has so much history with the Celtics that we find this behavior so wrong. It’s not us who is forgetting the good times; it’s him. Or, more likely, it’s him who is saying, they never really mattered in the first place.
He then asks, “What about comparing Allen to Pedro Martinez?”. You can try a thousand different examples. I don’t think any of them work, for a number of reasons. One of them is, as I’ve said before: I believe Ray Allen is far and away the best player ever to sign as a free agent, as a pure “addition”, with a team which had just won the championship. Other good players have gone to the reigning champs. Ron Artest did it a few years ago; but he was going to replace Trevor Ariza. If Dwyane Wade were retiring, the Ray Allen decision would be seen very differently. But obviously Wade is coming back. Why do the Heat need Ray Allen? To replace Mike Miller? Miller is probably coming back too, but even if he weren’t, isn’t Ray better than that? Like, wayyyyyyyyy better than that?
Who’s forgetting all the clutch shots he’s hit? Us or him?
I really can’t understand anyone who considers himself a competitor taking on such a role. What would people have said if Karl Malone or Charles Barkely decided to sign with the Celtics after the 2008 championship, to back up Kevin Garnett? It would have been utterly pathetic. And it’s pathetic for Ray Allen to do it. If being Dwayne Wade’s caddy was what his career was reduced to, he should have retired.
But obviously, it’s not what his career was reduced to. The team with which he built all these supposedly great memories offered him much more… because he, through back-channel communication and off-the-record comments, indicated he was open to coming back. And if somehow, the pain of having to endure Rajon Rondo’s scowls, and the humiliation of being in Danny Ainge’s employ, was just too much for his fragile ego to stand, he had other options. I suspect the Clippers would have preferred him to Jamal Crawford; but Allen took his time and was cool to them, and they took the bird in the hand.
Allen still had other options beyond that. The Globe article goes on to say: “Allen is a great fit in Miami, where he doesn’t have to carry the load of a star”. Would he have had to carry the load of a star in Boston??? Isn’t that why we signed Garnett and Bass and Green and Terry, alongside Rondo and Pierce? Wasn’t Allen’s gripe that his role in Boston wasn’t big enough?
And then, predictably, the Globe goes on to repeat the ridiculous claim, “The Celtics twice tried to trade Allen”. Really? Well, the Celtics traded for Ray Allen in 2007, and they never traded him away. They signed him to a new contract in 2010, and offered him another contract, with a no-trade clause, and more money than anyone else would give him, in 2012.
Where’s the evidence they “tried to trade” him? You think he was so hard to unload, that Ainge was unable to? Danny Ainge has done some questionable things, but he wasn’t trying to trade Allen. He was trying to improve the team. As I wrote, I don’t like the way he went about it, either. But suggesting that it was ever a goal to trade Allen is just asinine. He was willing to trade Allen, from a team which was over the cap and yet 15-17, if he could get something which would clearly improve the team. He couldn’t, so he didn’t.
Maybe part of the reason Danny was willing to contemplate trading Ray was he saw that Ray was ready and willing to jump ship to whoever could give him another ring at the earliest convenience. I mean, if the Celtics had trade him for OJ Mayo, or, better, Courtney Lee, at last season’s trade deadline, can anyone doubt they’d be in a better position today?
They kept the team together, and tried to bring them back, and tried to guarantee keeping them together (via Ray’s no-trade clause), precisely because of all the stuff the Globe writes about. But Allen obviously didn’t care.
We also remember epic battles against the Miami Heat. It’s not that we thought he’d care about where we wanted him to go. We thought he would not want to join forces with them.
I can’t blame the Heat, or Heat fans, for welcoming Ray. But I think they have to be kind of rolling their eyes a little bit. Would would we do if, in two years, Kobe Bryant decides to spurn the Lakers and is willing to play in Boston, dirt cheap? Would we say no? I don’t think so. Would we think he’s kind of a dick? I don’t think there’s any doubt.
There are a lot of perhaps seemingly tiny changes which could have changed how I perceived this. To take it to an extreme: if, after the Celtics/Heat series, Kevin Garnett and Dwayne Wade both retired due to injury, and the Heat lost to OKC due to Wade’s absence, then I could totally see it. It would still be weird for Ray to go to Miami, but there would be so much to gain. Instead of sticking with a Celtics team which, lacking KG, couldn’t really content for a title, he could go to Miami and be the starting 2-guard who leads LeBron and Bosh to their first NBA title. That’d be worth doing.
To go along for the encore ride, as Dwyane Wade’s understudy? Ugh. I just can’t fathom the appeal. But, at least I can reserve the right to “rip” Ray Allen “on his way out the door.” Weak, Ray.
What number does Courtney Lee like? #20 is available.