Ray Allen Says Doc Rivers Didn’t Call Him, But Rivers Said He Did, and ‘Ego’ Kept Allen From Returning to Celtics

by abournenesn

Oct 28, 2012

Ray Allen Says Doc Rivers Didn't Call Him, But Rivers Said He Did, and 'Ego' Kept Allen From Returning to CelticsOn Tuesday night, the Miami Heat will raise their championship banner from last season, then welcome the Celtics to their home court for a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals.

After that, turncoat Ray Allen says, he wants to move on.

But he's going to throw some more dirt first.

Allen, who has been using the recent weeks to rip the Celtics for what he says was a lack of respect, has now added to the story again. Allen's most recent shot at destroying what was left of his legacy in Boston came as he took a jab at Boston coach Doc Rivers.

"Doc never called and said, 'We want you to come back,' " Allen told ESPNBoston.com. "I can't say I expected him to do that. It's hard to say what the protocol is in those situations."

But just wait a second — because Rivers, who was more than supportive of Allen throughout the entire free agent process, even after Allen went to the Heat, is telling a different story.

Rivers talked with 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday, and he said he called Allen quite a few times — but Allen never called him back.

"Ray was great for us, and I won't go away from that," Rivers said. "Why it ended the way it ended, I really don't know.

"I think it was ego [more] than anything else."

Allen has repeatedly said he wasn't given the level of respect in Boston that he felt he afforded as a player, even if the Celtics did want to keep him. He talked about being cut out of Boston's offense and said the Celtics didn't try to welcome him back.

From the way Allen has been recounting the story in recent days, it now seems that the ego slight was beyond repair. Allen sounds like he had his mind made up to join the rival Heat well before the fateful free agency period.

Whether the Celtics wanted to give Allen the deference he felt he commanded is a valid point — but there's no question the C's clearly wanted Allen. Both Rivers and Celtics stalwart Kevin Garnett have said several times that they called Allen, implored him to come back and told him they wanted him.

Allen, however, is telling a different story — and one that's chipping away at his legacy pretty quickly.

While Allen originally looked like the frustrated veteran who had to go to a new team if he wanted to continue to shine, his recent words have played him right into the hands of the naysayers, who said from the beginning that he not only left but also picked the Heat specifically to spite the Celtics and show them he was more valuable than they thought.

That will all reach a head Tuesday, a day that Allen now says he is already looking past.

"Yeah, we can move on," he said Saturday. "I think it's two-fold, having a ring ceremony and then playing Boston. It's like both situations, letting go of what happened last year and we can move forward."

Taking on the Celtics in Miami may be quick and easy, but the saga is far from over for Allen, who will have to face Boston fans at some point.

This time, those fans may have more evidence to back up their criticism of Allen. The story has changed, and Allen is making himself more the villain with every new comment.

The question now is whether the last time Allen was at the Garden — as the Heat worked toward eliminating the Celtics on their way to the title — Allen may have already been thinking Miami would be a good spot to set up his new home.

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