In the end, Ray Allen left because Miami made him feel wanted.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge shopped Allen around more than a year — at one point the deal got so far he was told he was being moved only to have it still fall apart last minute. Then he goes to Miami and hears Pat Riley tell him they want him as a player, not some asset. They want him to help get them more rings. It wasn’t about money — Allen has made $178 million in salary alone during his career already — this was about feeling wanted. Not shockingly, Doc Rivers disagrees with Allen’s reasoning.
“No, I didn’t agree, but that doesn’t matter,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I think. I just wish we could have found a way [to sign Allen], and we didn’t. Always put it on us — it’s easier.” “Kevin Garnett was our focal point, and he should have been,” said Rivers. “If that got anyone ruffled, then that’s probably too bad . . . He probably got bent sideways a bit by us courting Kevin. I really don’t know, honestly.” “He talked to me. It was a good talk,” Rivers said. “You know how I am. A guy makes his mind up, I’m not going to try and change it. I respect him for all he did for us, and I thought he should have stayed with us. Actually, you just have to let it go.”
Celtics fans are not going to let it go the first time Miami comes to Boston next season. Or the second. Or….
But in the end Boston’s management’s past actions could not match the words of Pat Riley. And now Ray Allen will be knocking down threes in a Heat jersey.