Right now, the sports fans in Boston are feeling like the wife who walked in on her husband kissing the nanny. Ray Allen, the sharpshooter extraordinaire who was an indispensable part of the team's 2008 NBA championship run, has announced he will be joining the Heat. Jim Tanner, Allen's agent, confirmed the signing with Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick.
It was a move that had been foreshadowed for weeks. Nevertheless, the idea of seeing Ray Allen wearing the Heat's trademark red and black will be a tough thing for Bostonians to see next season.
Although Allen, who has always been one of the classiest guys in the NBA, will be in an unfamiliar position of being hated league-wide for the first time in his career (he will get the Johnny Damon treatment when he plays on the road in Boston next year), definitely made the right decision to leave Boston and join the Miami Heat.
Here are the three primary reasons Allen made the right call.
1. The potential volatility in the backcourt with the other guards
Allen's decision to leave the Heat will unfortunately be viewed by some as a testament to the lack of loyalty players have in today's NBA, and I expect him to be ripped by several media outlets as a result.
But what those sources don't realize is that if Allen's relationship with Rajon Rondo had deteriorated as much as reports have indicated (as Sam Amick did), it would have been tough on him next season. Along with dealing with Rondo, he would also have to share the backcourt with the notoriously erratic Jason Terry and have to be the third guard off the bench behind Terry and Avery Bradley.
It simply would not have been a position he would want to be in. I can only imagine Allen watching from the bench as Terry launches his low-percentage, three-point heaves and following them up with his "jet" gesture as he runs back to the defensive end of the court. Allen's thoughts would be: "I'm getting nearly no playing time because of this guy? I'm a Hall of Famer!" It just would not have worked.
2. The lack of trust he may have developed for the Celtics organization
According to the Miami Herald, the Celtics attempted to keep Ray Allen by not only offering him a two-year deal worth $12 million, they would also throw in a "no trade" clause in the contract.
This would alleviate the fears that Allen may have had about being on the trading block again. The problem is: once you know your team tried to trade you, it's hard to go back to that team as if nothing happened.
Allen is going to take a lot of criticism from Celtics fans and sports media types for "stabbing the Celtics in the back." But what about the team's actions against Allen? Didn't they owe him the same level of courtesy and loyalty that fans are demanding from him?
The organization didn't seem to think so, and now, they're turning around and acting like they can just offer him a huge paycheck, and he can forget they tried to get rid of him. It wouldn't have seemed right.
3. He has a better chance to win another ring
Of the Eastern Conference contenders currently, the Miami Heat provide Allen with his best chance to win a second championship ring. The Celtics have to be considered a contender, and with Avery Bradley healthy along with Jason Terry off the bench, they will definitely be a force to be reckoned with in the East next season.
But the Celtics are getting old. They have only been to the finals once since their championship win in 2008. There may have been the belief that it was time to move on. Danny Ainge originally intended the union of the "Big Three" of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Allen to be a three-year plan.
Next year will be the sixth year, and some have argued that this team needs to rebuild now rather than wait until the wheels completely fall off for this aged nucleus. Allen may have believed it was time to move on even if Celtics management wasn't ready to.