So much for Mr. Nice Guy – Ray Allen is now a villain, playing alongside an ugly group of villains, and while we’ll always have a soft spot in our heart for Sugar Ray, we’ll never really embrace him the same way again. By agreeing to terms with the Heat, and in the process taking his talents to South Beach, Allen has put into question the historical context of his 5-year stay in Boston. And while he won’t be reviled the way LeBron is in Cleveland, Ray certainly won’t be revered by legions of Celtics fans who have supported him so fervently as a member of the green-and-white.
In a disappointing twist, Allen left his meeting with the Miami Heat on Thursday night without giving them an answer on their contract offer and appeared to be torn on whether to leave the Boston Celtics. Allen had an afternoon meeting with Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra, and then went to dinner with them and other members of the team’s front office. The Heat offered Allen their mid-level exception, which starts at $3.09 million per season– or half of the Celtics’ offer of $6 million per year over two years. The most the Heat could offer is three years and $9.5 million.
By leaving Miami with no decision, this seemed to be an optimistic sign for Celtics fans everywhere. Conventional thinking was that the longer Allen went without committing, the better the Celtics’ chances of retaining his services.
Apparently, that is not the case.
And now we have to endure two, possibly three seasons of Allen in a Heat uniform. Ray, the bad guy. Ray, the villain. Not the scenario that I had in mind – and reason Number 716 to hate the Miami Heat.