WALTHAM – Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday an “accumulation of lots of things” led to the departure of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat.
“I don’t feel like we lost Ray, I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami,” Ainge said. “We appreciate all that Ray’s done, all that him and (wife) Shannon have done in our community. We tried to get Ray back – he chose to go to Miami.
“No one player makes a team, and players choose not to come here all the time. So, there’s 30 good basketball teams out there and it’s a very competitive league and there’s other teams outside of Boston. And we knew Ray had this option and this opportunity and he chose to go that direction.”
Asked about Allen’s contention that the Celtics did not recruited him as strongly as Miami in recent days, Ainge replied: “You’ll have to ask Ray. I’ve talked with Ray a lot over the last five years. I’m a fan of Ray and, like I said, I’m grateful for what he’s done. He’ll always be a part of that 2008 championship and the success we’ve had since then, as well. But I have a feeling that it wasn’t one thing, I think it was an accumulation of lots of things, including the lure of Miami. And I’ll just leave it at that.”
Ainge said he was “not surprised” by Allen’s decision to accept Miami’s offer.
“I will say that I was hoping that he would make another decision,” Ainge said. “But I was not surprised.”
The Celtics lost Chris Wilcox and Jeff Green, who both underwent heart procedures during the season. Green and free agent Jason Terry attended Saturday’s press conference, but have not finalized contracts.
“Things are moving forward,” Ainge said of negotiations. “I’ll just say I won’t give any more information on contract negotiations. (Off-season signings) have been a longer process than I’d like. But our results to this stage, our hopes in the weeks to come, I’m satisfied. We’ll be a very competitive team and we’ll be a deep team this year.”