MIAMI -- Ray Allen was introduced as a member of the Miami Heat on Wednesday, much to the chagrin of Celtics’ fans who desired his return. His explanations about his departure were rather cloudy and he spent most of the press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena reflecting on his past five years with the Celtics.
Allen was pointedly asked about his relationship with Rajon Rondo and he said while there were differences between the two, it wasn’t a major contributing factor to his departure.
“I haven’t spoken with (Rondo) at all,” said Allen. “When I came down here I texted Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett), those are the guys I talked quite a bit with over the years and we shared a lot of similar philosophies. Those are the guys when we came into Boston together, a lot was put on our shoulders as to whether or not we were going to win. So I look back at all our times spent in Boston and we played, we’ve had a lot of disappointments, we shared a lot of thrills and a lot of that is off the court.
“It is sad to me, knowing I’m not going to be with those guys anymore. But I’m looking forward to what we can do here in this organization, being a teammate of LeBron’s (James), being a teammate of Dwyane (Wade), Chris Bosh. Those guys are all excited to have me here.”
Last season, Allen had a increasingly difficult relationship with Rondo, who supported Bradley in the starting lineup because of his defensive prowess.
Allen said of Rondo: “I can’t say that it factored into my decision. I think as teammates we were brothers, I am around them more than I am around my own family. There’s differences. We all have differences. That’s just part of who we are as individuals and at the end of the day, we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. As players we have to put our differences aside.”
Allen said he is excited about the role he can play with the Heat, who aggressively recruited him.
“I talked to the people that are around me, that have watched me, followed me forever, they just said ‘Change is not bad, you have to consider this and think about whether this organization is going to be beneficial to you playing basketball the way we know you play basketball,’” Allen said. “It was that moment going forward that we said ‘Hey this is going to be a great opportunity for me.’”
Allen helped the Celtics win the NBA title in 2008, and said he expects to be a part of the organization always.
“Forever, I’ll always be a Celtic, no matter what,” he said.
“In my mind, it never changes. I don’t care what people say about me, I’ll always stay true to the city of Boston and the fans there,” he said. “They’ve been great to me. I’ll always consider that place home.”