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Free Agency 2012: Did Rajon Rondo's Role Force Ray Allen Out?

MIAMI, FL - MAY 28:  Ray Allen #20 and Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics agruee with referee Dan Crawford #43 after a technical foul call against the Celtics in the first half against the Miami Heat  in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterAugust 1, 2012

Adrian Wojnarowski penned (typed?) an intriguing Yahoo! Sports post on the forces that compelled Ray Allen out of Boston. He spoke to Doc Rivers, who's covering Team USA basketball in London. Rivers was quite candid about what transpired.

Here is a money quote:

People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo. I'm the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I'm the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn't mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.

It is possible that a tangible changing of the guard (get it? get it!) happened in Boston, that it really seemed as though Rondo took over the entire offense. The numbers, however, do not reflect such a dramatic shift.

Usage rate, a statistic that charts offensive involvement, pegged young Rondo at 20.7 last season, his career high. While this was Rondo's most offensively involved year, it's not so far off his 18.9 2007-2008 season, back when he was feared to be the weak link in a title contender. 

Rondo has been running Boston's offense for some time. This isn't new, and I'm not sure as to what the alternative should be. Since Rondo is a drive-and-kick operator, it would seem that Allen benefits from Rondo's control of the offense.

The thing about a Rondo-dominant offense is that his teammates are sure to see the ball. The pass-first point guard even eschews shooting to his slight detriment. Some of those assists should be layups. But still, it's hard to see why Allen would complain about the situation.

Given that Allen cannot create his own shot at this juncture of his career, I would guess that the friction between these two was personal, not professional. 

But perhaps Allen cared about Boston's offensive attack in the aggregate. The Celtics were a mediocre 23rd in the league last year, and they could stand to have more ball movement. While I suspect that Allen was the least hurt by a "Rondo dribbles around and eventually hits an open guy" attack, he may have been thinking of the greater good. 

We will never quite know what transpired between the two, but one thing is certain going forward: The Celtics will become even more Rondo-centric in the coming years. 

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