Page Nav

HIDE

Grid Blog

GRID_STYLE

Post/Page

Weather Location

{fbt_classic_header}

Articles On Tap:

latest

The Ballad of Ray Allen


Ray Allen got inducted in the Hall Of Fame this past weekend and it barely made a dent into the sports landscape of Boston. One of best shooters of all time, a Celtic champion, the all time 3 point king and he set the record while wearing a Boston uniform should be cause for celebration around these here parts but it wasn’t, and we all know why. He left the team. Not only did he leave the team but he went and joined forces with our greatest enemy. He joined with Lebron.

Ray leaves a complicated legacy here in Boston and his time here was complicated as well. He was acquired first by Danny Ainge on draft night in 2007 and while I was excited I knew he wasn’t the key piece for Banner 17. He was the piece to get the big piece. Acquiring him helped convince Kevin Garnett that the Celtics were a title contender. He was part of the Big Three but always the most under appreciated star of the team. Paul Pierce was one of us, having been on the team his whole career and already the established captain. KG was the new hot toy. The dominant Alpha Dog, the top 20 all time player here to lead the Celtics back to championship glory. Ray was even behind Rajon Rondo in terms of popularity. Rondo was the young, unique player who could dazzle the crowd with his passing and be the best player on the court without taking a shot. We always knew what we were going to get with Ray. He was going to hit his 3s, make his free throws, and come up big in the clutch. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

I can see Ray’s point of view on the situation and why he’s upset with Boston, the Celtics, and his former teammates. He was always in trade rumors, although as I like to point out he’s the only member of the starting five NOT to be traded. Like I said he was under appreciated by a lot of people. As we have found out in later years he wasn’t as close with Pierce and Garnett as we probably would’ve liked to believe. And we also found out that he and Rondo hated each other. 

I believe that the beef with him and Rondo started after the 2009 playoffs and into the 2010 season. Rondo averaged a triple double vs the Bulls in the first round and felt that he was officially a superstar and finally made the Big Three into a Big Four but no one ever said The Celtics Big Four. It was always The Big Three plus Rondo. That probably drove Rondo crazy. He was Pierce and KG’s little brother so he was never going to stand up to them but Ray was the outsider and he must’ve looked at Ray sometimes and said “I’m better than him. It should be The Big Three plus Ray”. As we know NBA players are very sensitive. They can take the smallest slight against them and turn into the biggest thing in the world. In reading Ray’s autobiography From The Outside, Ray built his career on small slights and using them as motivation to get better. From petty things in high school and college to the NBA where he felt Doc didn’t have his back at one point in the 2008 playoffs. This is how these guys operate.

Ray’s biggest sin is that he went to the enemy. Ray teamed with LeBron, the Celtics biggest rival and the player that group of Celtics hated the most. I know as fans we root for laundry and want the players to show the same loyalty that we show them and all that but this felt different than Johnny Damon going to the Yankees or Adam Vinatieri going to the Colts. We did always see David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Damon laughing it up on the field with A Rod and Jeter and it drove us, as fans, nuts. With the Celtics and LeBron and Dwayne Wade, we sensed real hatred there. Pierce and KG weren’t going to be helping LeBron up after a hard foul. The Celtics had knocked out Wade and LeBron in the playoffs three times and were the reason they teamed up in the first place. In 2012, they had the Heat on the ropes and were ready to deliver the knockout punch until LeBron had the best game of his career. The Celts lost in Game 7 and then Ray signed with the Heat and won another title and hit perhaps the greatest shot in NBA Finals history. While Pierce and KG lost to the Knicks in the first round and were gone from Boston that summer. So in the end Ray gets the last laugh I suppose.

Ray’s issue is that he has tried to justify it by saying the Heat were not the Celtics greatest rival and that he would understand the animosity if he went to the Lakers. Please join us in the real world, Ray. Back then it was all LeBron. Yes, in basketball history, it’s the Celtics and Lakers as the greatest rivalry but from 2008-2013 it was the Celtics vs LeBron. LeBron could’ve went anywhere and wherever he was the Eastern Conference was going to come down to the Celtics vs LeBron.

As a player, Ray Allen was a joy to watch. He was so smooth coming off screens and was able to square his shoulders perhaps better than anyone ever to play the game of basketball. He has the best looking jump shot ever, the prettiest form, and sweetest touch. Ray was OCD when it came to his pre game warmup. Same thing over and over and over again. I believe that good shooters are born. You’re born the the touch and the skill but great shooters are made. To be truly, truly great you have to put the work in every single day and Ray Allen did just that.


Like I said, Ray comes across as a bit of a crybaby in his book. He tries to justify everything his way and nothing was ever really his fault. Some of the 2008 Celtics were on KG’s Area 21 show and they talked about Ray and it was really cool to see them speak openly and honestly about things. You can tell they’re still not happy with Ray. Rondo still hates him and KG is the most loyal teammate around. Ray was lights out in the 2008 Finals, his 51 point performance and clutch shots in the Bull series in 2009 lives on in Celtics lore as do all his other big shots but it’s tough to not think about how things ended with him. I doubt he’ll ever be welcomed back in the hearts of Boston fans ever again.  I had dreams of a night when Pierce, KG, and Ray all get their numbers retired on the same night. That dream is dead and who knows if Ray will ever be let back into the family. It all depends on if KG found Ray’s phone number I guess.

No comments