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A day of cheers, jeers, reflection for Allen in return
BOSTON – Ray Allen didn’t know what to expect, but he expected respect.
Ultimately, that’s what he got Sunday in his return to TD Garden as a Boston Celtics opponent, in the Miami Heat’s 100-98 double-overtime loss.
It was an afternoon when jeers melted into cheers, eventually a standing ovation. But it also was an afternoon when he recognized that as long as he was in opposing colors, he would be the enemy.
“It was very weird, just walking and just going to the other locker room,” he said of his first trip back since joining the Heat as a free agent in July. “It’s been a long time since I went on that side of the hallway.”
Because of who he is, the pregame routine remained the same, jumper after jumper, long before the gates opened to the public.
But this was anything but routine, a retrospective video offered on the overhead screen during a first-quarter timeout, even before the veteran 3-point specialist entered.
“When you see something like that, when I saw it, all those emotions just came flooding back from all the great things that we did here,” he said of five seasons’ work being chronicled.
“I always will remember the big games we played in, the big games we won. I’ll always know that I’ll be a Celtic in my mind, regardless of what anyone else said.”
By Ira Winderman