MIAMI — It’s one day and counting before Ray Allen makes his Miami Heat debut against his former club, the Celtics. And there have been words thrown around from each side after his bitter departure.
Doc Rivers again downplayed the matchup, saying he plans to prepare for the Heat’s Big Three before Allen.
“Once the game starts, I am going to look across the court and see LeBron [James] first, [Dwyane] Wade second, [Chris] Bosh third, then I’ll probably get to Ray,” Rivers said. “Other than that, it will be different. I’ve been in the league a long time. I’ve seen guys in a lot of different uniforms, teammates, guys I’ve coached, You’ve seen Al Jefferson in a different uniform and [Kendrick Perkins] in a different uniform. It’s part of NBA life.”
Allen said opening night, when the Heat receive their championship rings, will be emotional for several reasons.
“You always have so many different types of emotions just regularly when the season starts off, obviously for me there’s so many different ones because I am excited for (the Heat) having spent time around them the last two or three months, getting to know them and their families,” Allen said. ”I’m happy for them that they won but at the same time they beat me [and the Celtics] and put us out.
“I understand the emotions that Boston will feel, the whole ceremony, but at the same time I’m excited for these guys. Once it’s over with, it’s business as usual.”
Neither Kevin Garnett nor Paul Pierce have talked to Allen since signing with the Heat and both said Monday they aren’t sure whether they will speak Tuesday night.
“As long as I was there, it’s nothing personal,” Allen said. “With anybody that’s not on the Celtics team, it’s always frosty. You don’t like the other opponent. I don’t think [not talking to Pierce and Garnett] is anything different than what would have been normal. Typically going into a season when we were coming back and amongst each other, you get away from each other and spend a lot of time with your family. So the five years I was there, KG and I didn’t text a whole lot throughout the summer. You obviously knew you were coming back so it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t look at this any different.”
When asked why he left the Celtics, he said: “There were a bevy of things I had to outweigh. I don’t think right now in this setting I want to discuss it.”
Allen said he harbors no hard feelings towards his former teammates despite the lack of communication.
“I think you guys think I have some type of animosity or bad blood against them, I don’t,” he said. “I’ve said it time and time again, we’ve shared, in my opinion, the most special thing you could do in sports is going all the way to the top. So that’s always going to be No. 1 closest to my heart so when I see Paul, I’m not going to be like angry at home or anybody. I’m happy. I’m excited. I look forward to it, seeing all these guys.”