Ray Allen goes by many different names these days to basketball fans. If you’re a Miami Heat fan, Allen is just the newest weapon to the team’s core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. If you’re a Boston Celtics fan, Allen is now officially a traitor. Allen left Boston, where he was a part of something special, and now joined forces with the enemy.
For the rest of the NBA, this sure makes for some great entertainment in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics-Heat rivalry just added another chapter and the fun begins again when these two teams match up on Oct. 30. Ray Allen joined WMEN in Miami with Big O to discuss the praise he has gotten from Miami Heat fans for joining the team in South Beach, fans booing players out of hatred, dealing with all the negative press coming out of Boston and taking on the Celtics on Oct. 30.
I think everyone is glad that you are on the Heat now so we don’t see you with the Celtics anymore, right?
“That’s a sentiment that was shared quite a bit as I spent the last two months here in Miami. Everybody was like, ‘I could not stand you. I rooted against you so much.’ People like me. One guy told me and said ‘I couldn’t cheer for anybody on your team. I cheer for you because I appreciate who you were as a player, but I can’t stand anyone else. I’m glad you are on the team now, so I can really truly root for you.’ That’s been a sentiment I’ve gotten all summer, so I appreciate that as well.”
I just can’t understand all the booing that fans do to players out of sheer hate and no respect. Do you?
“I hate it with a passion anywhere I go where we are beating the team by 20 and the fans boo. Because you never go out on the floor and try to be bad or try to suck out there. Everybody wants to be the best player they possibly could be and make a lot of money and win a championship. It’s just sometimes it’s not your night, like you face a team that’s tough and they put you in difficult position and a lot of times the reason why people boo is I don’t think they could understand what it’s like to do that on a nightly basis. You are traveling and you are in certain situations where everybody plays the ‘armchair quarterback,’ you know, sitting around and talking about what you could do and what somebody should do. We do it every Monday when we watch the highlights from football from that Sunday because you talk about bonehead plays and all these different situations, so I always say ‘Never judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.’ “
How did you deal with all the negativity of you leaving Boston because you chose to come here?
“Well it was just really a shame because on one hand you could say so many great things about me as a player and my impact on the floor, and not only on the floor but off the floor, like we did so many great things in the community — not only as a team, but as individuals — and that was my community and I support it as much as I could. We had some foundation initiatives that we still continue to do, so that doesn’t change me. 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, so it wasn’t, don’t boo me, boo the team in a sense.
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.”
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.”