Ray Allen has always been a sensitive kind of guy. He’s no longer a member of the Celtics, and he’s now just another bit of the Miami Heat. But his rift with Rajon Rondo had me thinking about his whiny demeanor from over the years.
Anybody remember when Bruce Bowen played basketball? Before his current days as a bow tie-wearin’ ESPN analyst, he used to rustle the jimmies of his opponents on the hardwood. His annoying defense played an integral part of the San Antonio Spurs winning three of their four titles (’03, ’05 and ’07). He used to be known as the ‘dirtiest player in the game’. I never minded it; in fact, I appreciated it. In a league that was (and has been to this day) noted as being a cesspool for vanilla defenders, Bowen brought an attitude to his game. Not verbally, but physically. He harassed the hell out of whoever he guarded.
One of the dudes whose jimmies were frequently rustled by Bowen was Allen. Back in March 2006, Bowen was fined $10,000 for kicking Allen in the back during a scuffle in a game. Nothing new. Allen didn’t like Bowen by then anyway, but that only intensified his dislike for Bowen.
“It’s the stuff he does that referees don’t see,” Allen said. “He pulls on you. He grabs you. He hits your elbow when you shoot. When you go to the basket, he’ll shove you and then he’ll fall.” That’s a quote from Ray back in 2005. Hey Ray, that was basketball, broski. But I digress from the Bowen talk.
Ol’ Ray was always classy in Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston unless he was mad or annoyed about something. And then he came off as whiny. I never saw the justifications he had in that (the whiny call-outs always seemed feminine in my eyes), but again, I reckon I digress as I move on to some more jimmie rustlin’ over the way he believes the Celtics handled his tenure in Boston:
“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 resign 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.”
Ol’ Ray’s on a roll. Now he’s blaming Danny Ainge for his rift with Rajon Rondo and spilling secrets of another trade that didn’t go down.
Allen sat down for three separate one-on-one interviews — with The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post — on Thursday to clear the air well before the season opener. He said the friction with Rondo began in 2009 when Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge proposed a trade that would have sent Allen and Rondo to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Allen said that, at the time, Ainge and Rivers “didn’t get along” with Rondo. “So, I called him and I told him, ‘hey they’re supposedly trading us to Phoenix because you and Danny and Doc don’t get along,’ ” Allen said. “ ‘So, whatever you can do.’ “So, for some reason, I guess he thought that I was … that I had something against him, or there were some issues. And I had no issues with him. I won with him.” Now, Allen says if Rondo “had issue with me, that’s on him.” “I have a way of going about doing my job that, I want everyone to come and play their hardest and come in and do their job and I can’t, I don’t worry myself with things I can’t control,” Allen said.
It sounds like Allen isn’t accustomed to feeling this much heat (pun sadly intended) and criticism and he’s trying to justify himself in any way possible. So what was once an in-house issue is now his dirty laundry to air however he wants to paint himself in as positive light as he can. Sorry, but I’m not feeling this latest blame game from Allen.
Just once I’d like to hear him take accountability for his part in the Rajon Rondo rift. I haven’t heard that yet.
Ray’s career in Boston is like a movie with a potentially awesome ending but the ending is the worst. My perception about him switched after his feelings were hurt because of the trade that almost happened: seems like he took pennies and a very limited role from Miami to stick it to the Celtics. Danny Ainge tried aggressively to work out something with him, but he chose to deafly ignore.
I hate to tell him this, but he’s a bit part in Miami. They won’t be hanging his jersey in the rafters. They won’t be drama free and without trade rumors. It’s a sport and a business, and sometimes people’s feelings aren’t front and center.
As a man, I have nothing but love and respect for Ray. As a player he’s nothing but boo material for a few games out of the season.
Stay classy in South Beach, Ray. But let it go. The Boston Celtics will be fine without you.