- Tom Haberstroh, ESPN Staff Writer
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Can opening night get here any sooner?
The Heat kick off the season against the Celtics on Oct. 30 in Miami, and, as you might expect, Ray Allen is anxious to get back on the court against his old squad.
After spending five seasons in Boston, Allen left Beantown to join the team that sent the C's packing two postseasons in a row. Allen reportedly left about $6 million on the table to come to Miami, turning down a two-year, $12 million offer to stay in green.
To Allen and his family, it was all about business. Talking to South Florida's WMEN (transcript via sportsradiointerviews.com), Allen laid out his reasons for joining the Heat.
“Well it was just really a shame because on one hand you could say so many great things about me as a player and my impact on the floor, and not only on the floor but off the floor, like we did so many great things in the community -- not only as a team, but as individuals -- and that was my community and I support it as much as I could. We had some foundation initiatives that we still continue to do, so that doesn’t change me.
It was a business decision and the team put me in the position where we had to move. 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. Now it’s out of my control. … 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.’ 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 gotta think about going somewhere else.”
So, to recap, Allen picked Miami because of "what the team was doing" and also because the Celtics did not "put out a good contract on the table." Unless Allen thought he deserved more than the two-year deal that reportedly was offered by Boston, it's odd that he frames it as a decision based on a contract. After all, he reportedly took half the money to go to Miami.
The cheaper living costs and lack of a Florida state income tax might help, but probably not nearly enough to cover a 50 percent pay cut.