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Ray Allen excited about Miami Heat, not dwelling on Boston Celtics issues
On Wednesday, the moment Celtics fans hoped wouldn’t come to fruition came along. One of their Big Three appeared in another uniform, and not just any uniform-it was just about as bad as could be, Ray Allen holding up his No. 34 jersey with the Heat at his welcoming press conference in Miami. They knew this was coming, but anticipation doesn’t always completely soothe the sting.
During the introductory session, Allen was diplomatic when asked about the Celtics and the reasons he left. Over the last few weeks, even as Boston made a hard push that included double the annual salary Miami offered, it became clear Allen was disenchanted with the Celtics.
Boston captain Paul Pierce tried to talk Allen into staying, as did the team’s other Big Three component, Kevin Garnett. But recent speculation about Allen and the Celtics has included a strained relationship with point guard Rajon Rondo, a sense of disrespect coming from the team’s front office and resentment over having been replaced in the starting five by second-year guard Avery Bradley.
“When we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders,” Allen said. “You know, I look back on all our time in Boston, we had a lot of disappointments, but we shared a lot of thrills and a lot of that is off the court, too. It is sad to me that I won’t be with those guys anymore, but I’m excited to be here.”
Pressed about Rondo specifically, Allen didn’t deny that there was tension, but said it wasn’t a reason for going to Miami.
“I can’t say that that factored into my decision,” he said. “As teammates, we were brothers. There’s differences. We all have differences. That’s all part of who we are as individuals. At the end of the day we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. … Paul eats corn flakes. I may not like corn flakes.”
He does, however, have to like his chances at another ring now with the Heat, who also officially introduced forward Rashard Lewis as part of the team.
Both guys are veterans whose best days are behind them, but they also figure to be key parts of a team that already is a favorite to repeat as champions.
By Sean Deveney Sporting News
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