Had the widely reported deal of Ray Allen being sent to Memphis in his final year in Boston actually gone down, Celtics would surely remember Allen differently. Instead of being booed and vilified, he’d probably be greeted fondly by the Boston crowd, as Doc Rivers was in his return with the Clippers.
The hypocrisy of that isn’t lost on Allen, who opened up about the near-trade in an interview with SLAM magazine.
“I was actually traded to Memphis,” Allen tells Datwon Thomas. “I got the phone call and [was] told that I was traded for O.J. Mayo. I was in San Francisco to play the Warriors. Danny Ainge and I talked, and he asked me how I felt about it. I told him I was upset, that I couldn’t believe it.
“I said, ‘I can’t knock you. You have to do what you do for your team. I understand it’s a business [and] there’s nothing I can do about it.’”
Allen told his family he had been traded, but the deal broke down and Allen finished the season with the Celtics. That summer, he took less money from the Heat to move to Miami, where he helped LeBron James and Dwyane Wade win a second straight NBA championship.
Some Celtics fans will never forgive Allen for that, even if they probably would not have held it against Ainge and the Celtics had they traded Allen. Even fellow players Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo took it personally when Allen left.
“I was branded as disloyal and I was the guy that was put on the trading block,” Allen said. “But since I decided to leave on my own, I was disloyal.”