The late-2000s Boston Celtics just can’t seem to stay out of the headlines.
Ray Allen assured as much Thursday morning when he stopped by ESPN’s “First Take” to discuss, among other things, his acrimonious departure from the Celtics in 2012 free agency.
So, why exactly did Allen spurn Boston to sign with the Miami Heat, who had just knocked the C’s out of the playoffs the previous season? Take it away, Ray:
Basically, Allen says it came down to the money: The C’s prioritized other contracts over shelling out enough to keep him around.
“I knew what everybody at my position was making,” Allen said, “so based on what I was asking for and what they were willing to pay me, it was like, ‘We can’t pay you that. We’re not going to pay you that.’ Even though they could have if they wanted to.”
Allen also said that while the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves went after him in free agency, he signed with the Heat because they gave him the best chance to win.
He turned out to be right — Miami won a title one season later in 2013 — but apparently burned some bridges in the process, especially with Rajon Rondo.
Allen admitted Thursday he still hasn’t spoken to the former Celtics guard and hinted their deteriorating relationship may have played a role in him deciding to play elsewhere.
“Once 2012 came when we’re going into free agency … I knew my future (in Boston) was over,” Allen said, “because this relationship that I have with Rondo — I don’t have any issues going forward; it just didn’t seem like it would be fixed.”
Check out an extended clip of Allen’s “First Take” appearance below.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images