Ray Allen, I thought you were savvier than this.
During his five-year tenure in Boston, perhaps no player received more respect from the media than Ray Allen. He was lauded for his professional approach and for his accessibility and willingness to sit and answer questions from the media win or lose.
The media chronicled his legendary pre-game shooting routine and praised his work ethic and dedication to the game. They raved about his family - CSNNE even gave his wife a cooking show, cameras regularly focused on his mom in the stands, and basically held him up as the role model for all athletes.
Since leaving Boston for the Miami Heat, Allen has seemingly done everything in his power to undo all the goodwill he had built up while playing for the Celtics. While not directly saying that his relationship with Rajon Rondo was the main factor in leaving, that relationship has been whispered and cited by many close to Allen as the main factor. Allen hasn't done much to refute the notion, instead just saying that if Rondo "had issue with me, that's on him."
Allen did a publicity tour last week, doing three separate one-on-one interviews about his divorce from the Celtics, stating how they didn't want him, suggesting that their contract offer was insulting enough that it forced him to move his family. That contract offer by the way, was reportedly twice what he accepted to move his family to Miami. He also complained about how Doc Rivers used him in Boston, and how he wanted to play in the post more, and that he didn't want to be simply standing the corner and be a decoy on offense.
By talking non-stop about how the Celtics treated him poorly, it's almost as if he thinks the press is on his side in this matter, and to an extent, he had reason to feel this way. For much of his time here, Allen enjoyed good press while teammate Rajon Rondo didn't always get the same.
Former teammate Keyon Dooling told Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com the following:
"I love Ray. I love his family. He's a true pro. But it's unfair how this all came out. Ray had such a good relationship with all the reporters and Rondo was so quiet. So who gets all the good press?
Allen enjoyed good press because he was cooperative with the media in Boston, and it seems like he feels that if he gives the Miami press all this dirt about the Celtics, that they will also give him positive coverage. Does he think that his five years of cooperation with the Boston media will mean that Celtics reporters will continue to take his side in things?
Dooling also hinted that Allen's own teammates didn't entirely appreciate his friendliness with the media.
"Sometimes it felt like Ray spent more time talking to the media than he did to his teammates.''
That's a pretty strong statement right there. The Celtics, for the most part, have avoided wading into Allen's mess, choosing to defer comment for the most part. Rondo seems to have decided not to even refer to Allen by name, instead calling him "No. 20" when addressing the topic of Allen. When apprised of Allen's latest comments this week, Rivers simply said, "We're going to just let Ray keep talking."
Allen should be savvy enough to recognize what he's doing, and how he is putting his legacy in jeopardy. His comments this summer and fall are contrary to anything that we saw or heard from him while he was with the Celtics. The smart move for Allen would've just been to issue one statement, thanking the fans, saying how much he loved playing in Boston for the Celtics and with his teammates and winning a championship, but that it was just time for him to move on.
While some would still have issue with him for leaving the Celtics, his reception in Boston when he returns as a member of the Heat would be much more cordial and appreciative than it is likely to be now that he has spent so much time talking trash about the organization.
I thought Allen would've known this. Instead, he's coming off as someone who realizes he messed up the best thing he had going and is trying to justify things to himself, above anyone else.
All he's really done is make things more difficult for himself when he comes to face his former team and fans.