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Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, told Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski in an interview on Wednesday that it was his decisions over the years that may have led to Ray Allen‘s departure from the Boston Celtics. Rivers told Yahoo! that giving point guard Rajon Rondo control of the offense and substituting Avery Bradley into the starting lineup did not sit well with Allen:
“Think about everything [Allen] said when he left: ‘I want to be more of a part of the offense.’ Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, ‘That’s not Rondo’s fault.’ That’s what I wanted Rondo to do, and that’s what Rondo should’ve done. Because that’s Rondo’s ability. He’s the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He’s not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray.”
Rivers, who is at the Olympics in London as an analyst for NBC, also admitted there were problems between Rondo and Allen that also factored into Allen leaving but claims that it was his decision to make Rondo the center of the offense that ultimately caused the rift.
When Bradley moved into the starting role, Rivers knew that Allen was not onboard with the sixth man role. The Celtics were obviously playing better with Bradley starting and Rivers knew it was the right decision for the team.
“And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been a hypocrite.”
Rivers said that he was upset with Allen for his reasons for leaving Boston, not his decision to leave for the rival Heat. Allen turned down the Celtics 2 year, $12 million deal and took the Miami Heat’s 2 year, $6 million contract for what is presumed to be a bigger role in the Heat’s offense. Allen will be replaced at shooting guard on the Celtics by the recent signings of Courtney Lee and former Sixth Man of the Year, Jason Terry, and the return of Bradley from shoulder surgery.
Rivers identified that at the root of the problem was a matter of Allen’s pride and that it was irreconcilable, “If Ray came back, it had to be because he was thinking, ‘We’re going to work this [stuff] out, and we’re going to win.’ And if he didn’t come back, it was because he thought he couldn’t work it out here. What they’re asking him to do in Miami, he just couldn’t do in Boston.”