FREE REPORT: Great for basketball, volleyball, football, and other sports
Add 10 Inches To Your Vertical Jump In Just 10 Weeks
Click here => Jump High
Danny Ainge ‘grateful’ for Ray Allen
WALTHAM, Mass. – Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday that he wasn’t surprised by Ray Allen’s decision to sign with the rival Miami Heat, but stressed that Boston wanted the veteran sharpshooter back and that it was ultimately Allen’s decision to depart.
“I don’t feel like we lost Ray; I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami,” said Ainge. “We appreciate all that Ray’s done, and all that him and (Allen’s wife) Shannon have done in our community. We tried to get Ray back; he chose to go to Miami.”
Speaking publicly on Allen for the first time since the soon-to-be 37-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Heat on Wednesday – accepting half the yearly salary that Boston was offering in the process – Ainge expressed gratitude for Allen’s contributions to the Celtics the last five years, but seemed slightly stung by Allen’s decision to jump ship amid Boston’s efforts to put back all the major pieces from last season.
The Celtics owned a 3-2 advantage before the Heat rallied to win the Eastern Conference finals and, eventually, the NBA title.
Allen, whose name turned up in midseason trade rumors, also lost his starting job to second-year guard Avery Bradley late in the regular season while he battled bone spurs in his right ankle.
“You’d have to ask Ray the decisions why (he signed with Miami),” Ainge said when asked if Allen’s diminished role played a factor in his departure. “I talked with Ray a lot over the last five years, I’m a fan of Ray and, like I said, I’m grateful for what he’s done.
He’ll always be part of that 2008 championship and the success we’ve had since then as well. But, I have a feeling that it wasn’t one thing. I think it was an accumulation of lots of things, including the lure of Miami. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Asked then if he was surprised by Allen’s decision, Ainge offered: “No. I’ll say that I was hopeful he would make another decision, but I was not surprised.”
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com