Much was made of Ray Allen‘s decision to leave the Boston Celtics to join the Miami Heat last summer. Allen was basically called a traitor and it was clear that Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers were not okay with it. Now over a year later, they’ve all left Boston as well. Some people have called this hypocritical, including Allen’s new teammate, Lebron James.
Here’s what the reigning MVP had to say about KG, Pierce and Rivers all leaving Boston for better opportunities:
“I think it’s okay, I didn’t mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically **** on Ray for leaving and now they’re leaving. That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc, KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”
While I get that the decisions by KG, Pierce and Rivers to leave the Celtics could be perceived as hypocritical, I don’t think that’s fair. Allen’s decision to leave was made under a completely different set of circumstances. He was a free agent who decided not only to leave the Celtics, but to sign with the team that just eliminated them from the playoffs. It was also very clear at the time that Boston hated Miami and vice-versa.
KG, Pierce and Rivers were all traded out of Boston. Yes, Garnett waived his no-trade clause, but it was clear to him and everyone that watches the NBA that Boston was going in a completely different direction. The Big-Three era was clearly over after the 2012-13 season. I don’t think the same thing could have been said about the team after the 2011-12 season.
Allen wanted out of Boston while the franchise was still trying to win another ring. That’s obviously not where the Celtics are at now. Ultimately, I think he just left one year too soon, from a loyalty standpoint. In the end, though, he has another ring on his fingers and the others who stayed in Boston do not.