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On Sunday, Ray Allen will return to Boston to play his former team for the first time since he took less money to play with LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Allen’s reception at the TD Garden will be among the top story lines.
Should Celtics fans boo him as a traitorous enemy? Or cheer him for his five years of service? The forecast says the temperature in Miami will be 77 degrees on Sunday. In Boston? An icy 25.
Each fan will likely remember Allen on one side of that spectrum: warm or cold.
That’s just how we are. We will either hold a grudge with every fiber of our frost bitten hands, or we will fondly remember Ray’s silky smooth jump shot; proud Mama cheering among the Boston faithful. For each green breathing mammal, it will be one or the other.
Indifference just isn’t in our blood.
Celtics fans shouldn’t boo Ray Allen for the simple reason that he seems like a nice guy, almost to a fault. He appears to be a faithful husband and loving father. Not all athletes can say that. He does charity work, and does charity work because he legitimately cares, not because his image means more to him than the causes he supports. Not all athletes can say that. He took less money during free agency because where he played meant more to him than the numbers on his paycheck. Not all, in fact, very few athletes can say that. And, he helped the Celtics win an NBA Championship and was a consummate pro and teammate for five seasons. Certainly not all athletes can say that.
Yes, Ray Allen wasn’t too pleased that Avery Bradley took his starting job. Yes, Ray Allen didn’t always get along great with Rajon Rondo. And yes, Ray Allen now plays with the Miami Heat, a team that may in fact mark the beginning of the end for mankind. But booing should be reserved for bad guys and bad effort, categories Ray Allen does not fit into.
Ummm, because he’s on the other team. Ray Allen is no longer on the Celtics. He wears black and red, which means he comes to Boston seeking a conquest, not a homecoming. It’s pretty clear, when an opponent walks into your building, you let them know that they are not welcome and you do so by booing them. Sure we had some good times Ray, but in the end, it was really just a prolonged fling. Let’s hope the boo-birds don’t peck at your sensitivity the way losing your starting job to Avery Bradley did. BOOOO!
Not only is Ray Allen on a different team now, he also took the easy way out. Instead of sticking with his aging Boston brothers and seeing their run through the end, he teamed up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in hopes of getting a cheap title at the end of his career. No more cold winters, no more clam chowder. Ray Ray’s now graced with warm weather, D-Wade’s annoying, slow motion way of chewing gum, and LeBron’s paper thin personality. All by choice. He had every right to leave Boston. So we have every right to boo him.
When Ray Allen enters the game on Sunday off Miami’s bench, I believe Celtics fans should give him a standing ovation. Wow, that was actually physically difficult to type, so maybe my logics’ superseding my emotion, but I’d just have a difficult time booing someone who was such an integral part in turning the Celtics around. Before the Big 3, the Celtics were peddling in mediocrity, which is awful by Boston teams’ standards.
During his five seasons here, Ray said all the right things, did all the right things, and played the game the right way. Professional sports could use a lot more Ray Allen’s.
Championship memories, now that’s something in our blood.