Every Celtics fan in Boston has to have January 27 circled on their calendars. That is the day Ray Allen and the Miami Heat come to town for Allen’s first return to the Garden since he left the Celtics. No doubt fans will rest their vocal cords all day for the chance to boo Allen as soon as he steps onto the floor.
But the Boston fans probably are not the only ones looking forward to that game. Allen will surely be amped up to return and prove to the Celtics that they never should have let him go.
The way Allen is talking now, it seems like he would have stayed in Boston, but the franchise treated him so poorly that he had to leave. The legendary sharpshooter is saying that it is not his fault he is with the Heat.
"It was a business decision, and the team put me in the position where we had to move," Allen said. "We had to go. Miami was a better choice for us based on what the team was doing, so it wasn't — don't boo me. Boo the team, in a sense.”
It is a classic case of finger pointing. Allen says it was the Celtics being unreasonable and the Celtics say the same about Allen, but ultimately he took a lesser contract to go somewhere else, showing he truly was not happy in Boston.
“When this contract situation came down, everybody in my circle — mom, family, brother, sister, friends from college, people who watched me since I was in high school and since I was in college — nobody wanted me to re-sign in that situation because they thought, 'There [is] so much left in you, and this team isn't taking care of you or treating you right,' " he said. "That's the way I felt, and it was like, if you are going to come and not put out a good contract on the table then, hey, we got to think about going somewhere else."
The Celtics and Heat play in Miami first, giving Allen a chance to warm up against his former team before returning to Boston. It is unfortunate to see him depart on unfriendly terms with a city that loved him for so long, but I guess that is the nature of the business.
Image: Miami Herald