Ray Allen says loyalty doesn’t exist in the NBA

Paul Pierce Ray Allen Celtics
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen embrace. Barry Chin/Globe staff

Ray Allen doesn’t think loyalty in the NBA exists. Nor does he think it should.

“It’s not about loyalty,” he told Trysta Krick of USA Today Sports. “It’s about business. We get traded. As a free agent, you sign a contract to go somewhere, wherever you need to go.”

“Players only have a small window to maximize their dollar, to maximize their ability to win a championship,” he continued. “Each individual player has to decide that for themselves. It’s just the nature of sports. Teams stay, players kind of move on.”

Allen played five seasons with the Celtics, before leaving Boston to sign with the Miami Heat. His departure was not received well by former teammates or fans, as the 42-year-old remains estranged from a number of players from the 2008 championship squad. But Allen believes the backlash is unfair.


As he outlines in his upcoming book, “From the Outside: My Journey through Life and the Game I Love,” the guard wanted to find a team where he could be happy and respected. Even though the Miami offered less money than Boston, Allen felt the Heat was the place for him.

“It’s not about loyalty,” he told Krick. “You can have loyalty to a player. A player can have loyalty to a team. But at the end of the day, business is ultimately going to decide whether that relationship is going to carry or is going to move on.”