He lauded his Celtics teammates and the time he spent winning a championship in Boston. He called leaving the best decision for his family and wouldn't throw people under the bus.
Now that he's comfortably in Miami, however, Allen is telling the real story. Allen has confirmed he felt unvalued in Boston, saying the blame for him jumping to Miami rests completely with the Celtics.
"It was a business decision, and the team put me in the position where we had to move," Allen told WMEN in Miami, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. "We had to go. Miami was a better choice for us based on what the team was doing, so it wasn't — don't boo me. Boo the team, in a sense."
Allen said everyone in his camp was telling him that the Celtics, who had shifted him to the bench with a lingering ankle injury as Avery Bradley proved valuable on defense as a starter, didn't value his game the way they should have.
"When this contract situation came down, everybody in my circle — mom, family, brother, sister, friends from college, people who watched me since I was in high school and since I was in college — nobody wanted me to re-sign in that situation because they thought, 'There [is] so much left in you, and this team isn't taking care of you or treating you right,' " he said. "That's the way I felt, and it was like, if you are going to come and not put out a good contract on the table then, hey, we got to think about going somewhere else."
Allen could have had more money if he stayed with the Celtics thanks to NBA contract rules that favor returning veterans. But the Heat weren't shy about showing Allen they wanted him and telling him where he'd fit in, even with lesser pay.
Allen's displeasure with the Celtics went beyond the contract situation. In the interview, he reflected on the negativity surrounding him leaving, saying it was "really a shame" that he wouldn't be able to do "so many great things in the community" anymore. He admitted that he'd have extra motivation when the Heat and Celtics face each other for their first game of the season on Oct. 30, although he noted that he can usually work up some kind of motivation for any opponent.
Allen also called out fans that he says are hung up on booing and hate, saying players are doing their best and aren't trying to stink. He said fans need to stop second-guessing players until they understand what it's like to play "on a nightly basis," adding, "Never judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes."
Allen said he's gotten a special kind of love from Heat fans, many of whom are just happy he's not wearing Celtics green anymore.
"That's a sentiment that was shared quite a bit as I spent the last two months here in Miami," he said. "Everybody was like, 'I could not stand you. I rooted against you so much.' People like me. … That's been a sentiment I've gotten all summer, so I appreciate that as well."
Some C's fans gave Allen the benefit of the doubt when he first left, but that time may be over now. Allen could see an influx of Benedict Arnold signs — and those boos he doesn't seem to like — the next time he takes the floor.
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