Allen reflects on Celtics in Heat intro
July, 11, 2012
By Greg Payne | ESPNBoston.com
A few highlights from a Celtics perspective following Ray Allen's introductory press conference with the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
* Allen praises Riley, Spoelstra: Allen cited Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra as two key factors in his decision to choose Miami over Boston, stating that the three shared similar basketball philosophies and ideals. "[Spoelstra and I] talked about every basketball philosophy that we shared. He and I, we share very similar ideals, offensively, defensively. Him asking me what I liked, kind of how I saw their team and how he saw me as a player, and I agreed with a lot of the things, a lot of directions the team was going in, and I was excited."
* Allen downplays feud with Rondo: There had been rampant speculation over the last few weeks that the relationship between Allen and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo had soured, and that it contributed to Allen leaving the Celtics. Allen, though, largely avoided saying outright that he had been feuding with Rondo. "I can't say that [issues with Rondo] factored into my decision. I think as teammates, we're brothers, I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, and there's differences. We all have differences. Paul [Pierce] eats cornflakes. I might not like the cornflakes. That's just part of who we are as individuals. At the end of the day we had to buy into what the coaches believe is best for us. As players we have to put our differences aside."
Allen also said, however, that he has not talked to Rondo this offseason.
Avery Bradley last season, and he shared a moment of humor with reporters when the likelihood of not starting in Miami was brought up. "You mean I'm not starting? I wish they had told me that last week," Allen joked.
"Going into this process I never said that I wanted to start or come off the bench. That wasn't really an issue. The way that I prepare for the game, the way that I try to figure out what's best for this team -- whatever's going to be best for me in this situation is going to figure itself out. This team won a championship without me. I'm not going to come in and expect for coach to cater to who I am or what I do. I've got to make that work on the floor with my new teammates ... I'm not trying to come here and win on my terms. I'm trying to win on what coach Spoelstra and Pat Riley need for this team to help win another championship."
* Allen not bothered by angry reaction of Boston fans: Many Celtics fans expressed anger and disappointment over Allen's decision, given the team's rivalry with Miami in recent seasons. The words traitor and 'Judas' were tossed around more than once, but Allen isn't letting the name-calling get to him. "It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me. I know who I am. I know what my every day goal or tasks are, and that's to raise my kids to be respectable people in this world, and to make this team better."
* Kevin Garnett tried to convince Allen to stay: Allen said he texted Garnett once he started to be swayed by Miami's pitch: "When I knew I was leaning toward Miami, I actually sent a text out to Kevin, just to let him know," Allen said. "I just remember this process in  when [James] Posey left us. He left and we just really wanted him back and he went to New Orleans. We didn't get a chance to get Danny [Ainge] to try to give him a little something extra, whatever it was. I didn't want that to be the case with me in this situation, so I texted Kevin, I said, 'Hey, I'm leaning this way. I just want you to know.' He said, 'Well, Danny will step up to the plate and do whatever you need him to do.' I was like, 'We'll see.' That was some of the smaller discussion we had."
* Ray on leaving Boston: "We feel the sense of loss that we'll have, not being in that community, and that's understandable. But we're still part of that community. We're still a part of New England. We still live in Connecticut. Our home is still in Boston, so that's not going to change how we feel about the people there."
* He'll miss his now-former mates in Boston: "I look back at all our time spent in Boston ... we had a lot of disappointments, but we shared a lot of thrills," Allen said. "It is sad to me that I'm not going to be with those guys anymore. But I look forward to being here."
* Riley on potentially retiring Ray's number: "One of the things that you always think about as a team is, we brought Ray here to win, and be a part of this organization, and we hope that he ends his career here and we hope that we can be the one that hangs his number up in our rafters."
Allen, who turned down a two-year, $12 million contract with Boston, also said that Ainge and C's head coach Doc Rivers were disappointed by his decision. Allen, who wore number 20 during his five years in Boston, will revert to his former number, 34, during his time with Miami.