Each side needs to have its villains and heroes. For the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat are the enemy, the team that poached away not just the title of most dominant team in the East, but also one of their best players in Ray Allen, who wanted to leave for less money because of the title prospects, and because of Doc Rivers picking Rajon Rondo over him. Paul Pierce, if you’re surprised or not, is still angry with him.
How mad? As if Allen is some sort of traitor who committed a crime of grave betrayal, leaving a sinking ship. Pierce forgot Allen came from a different team that was on its way down and eventually left Seattle. He forgot Kevin Garnett didn’t come from Boston, but from Minnesota. He forgot the whole situation in which Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen didn’t get along. He prefers to hate, and remember the pain of being left for something better.
One day when it’s all said and done, I’m sure we’ll talk about it off to the side. But not right now. It definitely hurt me. Say we play the Lakers for the championship, and two years later I go and sign with the Lakers. That’s the equivalent of what he did.
Allen? He’s answered these sort of retorts all summer and season long. It doesn’t seem to be bothering him considering his pretty impressive ability most of this season coming off the bench as the Heat’s sixth man. He is pleased with his decision, and will be even happier once the Heat win their second NBA title, if they actually come through on their promise.
I miss playing with Paul, and being his teammate. There’s a lot of sentimentality from me being there and walking with those guys. That doesn’t change. I wouldn’t take that away from him. I respect him feeling that way. Those feelings are justified. I’m not on his team anymore, I’m not helping them win. His feelings are hurt, but he knows, he understands. He and I can look at each other and exchange a glance, because he knows what I had to do. He knows.