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A few weeks ago Ray Allen decided to take his three point shooting talents to South Beach and join The Miami Heat‘s Big Three. It was a decision that has left many Boston Celtics fans scratching their heads and has been the hot topic of discussion on Causeway Street.
Allen, 36, turned down the Celtics offer of two years, $12 million with a no-trade clause, to accept a two year, $6 million offer from the Heat.
Allen was upset last year when trade rumors were circulating around him, and when he was told he was traded to Memphis only to find out moments later that the deal fell apart. Celtics team president Danny Ainge tried to heal that wound with the no-trade clause, but it wasn’t enough to entice Allen to play his sixth and seventh seasons on the Garden Parquet floor.
Rumors first came out that Allen was upset the Celtics made Kevin Garnett their number one player to bring back, and with the way Garnett played in the playoffs, the choice was a no-brainer. Allen also was not thrilled about losing his starting job to Avery Bradley down the stretch while he battled bone spurs.
Now word on the rumor mill is that Rajon Rondo and Allen did not have the best relationship. Rondo does have a big ego, which many see as a catalyst for tension. Everything on the court seemed great with the way Rondo would penetrate the lane and kick it out to Allen for a wide open three.
So what was the deciding factor that lead to Allen’s decision to join the three ring circus that surrounds Lebron James and the Heat? Was it playing time? With the emergence of Avery Bradley last season and the signing of Jason Terry, Allen felt like there wouldn’t be enough minutes to go around.
Allen has witnessed first hand the open looks that Mike Miller has received in the last two seasons. Even though he will play more minutes in Miami than Boston next year, it probably will only be a difference of 3-4 minutes a game. Head Coach Doc Rivers would have found a way to make it work by going with smaller lineups, the way the Heat do.
It is well known that Allen is as professional an athlete as anyone in the game. He is a class act. He even called Garnett while he was in Miami and told him he was having a tough time making a decision but was leaning Heat. Garnett told him that Ainge would work it out, but by that point Allen was probably too close to making the decision.
At the end of the day, Allen felt he was a better fit in South Beach. He’ll also end up with an absurd amount of open looks from beyond the arc and won’t have to run through three screens to do it. Allen, 37, would rather hit the links after practice for the next two years than shovel his car out of the snow. You really can’t blame him for picking the more pleasant climate at this point in his career.
Jesus Shuttlesworth has turned into Judas. Allen will receive a Johnny Damon like welcome when his name is first announced in Boston as a member of the Miami Heat- some cheers, some impassioned boos. After that, the cheers will be replaced by a sea of boos every time Allen takes a three. Thats just the way it is in Boston when you join the enemy. We will see you in the Eastern Conference Finals, Judas Shuttlesworth.