The biggest moment of the NBA opening night for the 2012-2013 season will be when the Miami Heat begin their title defense against the Boston Celtics, and Ray Allen gets to play against the team he spent the last five seasons with, including winning an NBA title.
The terms of separation? Not the chummiest. Allen felt Doc Rivers wasn’t giving him enough respect over the course of last season, while his relationship with his backcourt teammate, on the floor and off of it, wasn’t a loving one. Allen’s return from his injury didn’t go swimmingly, and he lost his spot in the starting lineup for a while.
A bruised ego and the better prospects for title chances in Miami made Allen give up on more money that the Celtics were offering him and choose the Heat destination. As expected, this doesn’t make him the most popular figure among Celtics fans and players, especially Kevin Garnett.
It’s important that this rivalry has a bit more of an edge to it, as the NBA is lacking in these bad blood matchups and this kind of antagonism between two teams. If the LeBron James factor wasn’t enough; or the fact that the Heat beat the Celtics in the last two postseasons, now there’s another reason to hate the Heat for those living in the Northeast, which usually trickles down to the emotions and plays of the players.
On his interview with WMEN Miami, Allen adressed everything having to do with his return to Boston and all the negativity coming out of the city and it’s very influential media.
Q: How did you deal with all the negativity of you leaving Boston because you chose to come here?
It was a business decision and the team put me in the position where we had to move. We had to go. Miami was a better choice for us based on what the team was doing. Now it’s out of my control. When this contract situation came down, everybody in my circle — mom, family, brother, sister, friends from college, people who watched me since I was in high school and since I was in college — nobody wanted me to resign in that situation because they thought, ‘There is so much left in you and this team isn’t taking care of you or treating you right.’ That’s the way I felt and it was like, if you are going to come and not put out a good contract on the table then, hey, we gotta think about going somewhere else.
Q: So this contract situation is going to add some spice to the game against the Boston Celtics on Oct.30, huh?
Well the one thing good about me is that I am good at keeping my cool. When I get on a treadmill or run the street or ride my bike or whatever it may be, I have so many different motivations. Whether you are on the road or at home, old or young, I want to beat you no matter what it is and I’ll find some way to get some type of advantage on you. So that is always going to exist in me no matter. I look forward to that moment because even if we played Atlanta on opening night, I was going to find something that I want to beat them and beat them bad.
Listen to Ray Allen on WMEN in Miami here (19:15 on the podcast)