MIAMI — Ray Allen was introduced as a member of the Miami Heat on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of Celtics’ fans who desired his return. His explanations about his departure were rather cloudy, and he spent most of the press conference at American Airlines Arena reflecting on his past five years with the Celtics.
Allen was pointedly asked about his relationship with Rajon Rondo and he said while there were differences between the two, he said it wasn’t a major contributing factor to his departure.
“I haven’t spoken with (Rondo) at all,” said Allen. “When I came down here, I texted Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett), those are the guys I talked quite a bit with over the years and we shared a lot of similar philosophies, those are the guys when we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders as to whether or not we were going to win, so I look back at all our times spent in Boston and we played, we’ve had a lot of disappointments, we shared a lot of thrills and a lot of that is off the court.
“It is sad to me, knowing I’m not going to be with those guys anymore, but I’m looking forward to what we can do here in this organization, being a teammate of LeBron’s (James), being a teammate of Dwyane (Wade), Chris Bosh. Those guys are all excited to have me here.”
And he added more on Rondo: “I can’t say that it factored into my decision. I think as teammates we were brothers, I am around them more than I am around my own family. There’s differences. We all have differences. That’s just part of who we are as individuals and at the end of the day, we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. As players we have to put our differences aside.”
— Allen on why he chose Miami: “I looked at the situation and I thought about what would be best for my kids, my wife, me personally being able to go out and help this team win with the talent I know that I have.”
— Allen on when he made the decision: “I think it was July 6 if I have my dates correctly, there was a moment where I just had to decision, going throughout the course of a season, with me going forward offensively how I was going to be able to contribute, I just felt as though I contributed a great deal to the organization in Boston and they have been so good to me and my family that we got to the position now whereas I’m thinking about is Miami going to be a good fit for me.
“I talked to the people that are around me, that have watched me, followed me forever, they just said ‘change is not bad, you have to consider this and think about whether this organization is going to be beneficial to you playing basketball the way we know you play basketball. It was that moment going forward that we said ‘hey this is going to be a great opportunity for me.’ ”
— Allen on his conversations with Garnett through the process: “When I was actually leaning toward Miami, I actually sent a text out to Kevin, just to let him know. I remember this process in ’08 when (James) Posey left us, he left and we just really wanted him back and he went to New Orleans. We didn’t get a chance to get Danny (Ainge) to try to get him a little something extra. I didn’t want that to be the case with me in this situation and so I text Kevin and told him, ‘hey I’m leaning this way, I just want you to know, without getting into the finite details.’ He said ‘Danny, he’ll step up to the plate and do whatever you need him to do.’ I was like, ‘we’ll see.’ And that was some of the discussion we had. I just wanted them guys to know that I appreciated everything they’ve done for me and they was a joy and a pleasure to play with.”
And when he was asked about coming back to Boston as a member of the Heat, Allen said. “Forever, I’ll always be a Celtic, no matter what. I seen Big Baby (Glen Davis) down here during the playoffs watching (Game 5 vs. Miami) and I looked at him as a brother. We played against Perk (Kendrick Perkins) during the year, it doesn’t change. Posey came in the locker room once we lost Game 7 here and he’s forever a Celtic. Eddie House played down there (in Miami) and he came in the (Celtics) locker room every time he got the opportunity. In my mind, it never changes. I don’t care what people say about me, I’ll always stay true to the city of Boston and the fans there. They’ve been great to me. I’ll always consider that place home.”