Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics for the Miami Heat nearly eight years ago, but some ill will from that decision may still remain.
Appearing this week on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said that Allen’s departure for the rival Heat in 2012 “will have some impact” on whether the team retires his No. 20 jersey. Ainge went on, via Jenna Ciccotelli of Boston.com:
“[I] no longer hold any grudge against Allen. [But] that’s not the exact same feeling of everybody in the organization.
“We get along great. I’m a big, big fan of Ray. I’ll always be grateful to Ray for the championship he gave us … These are not my decisions. So if someone asks my opinion on this, I’ll weigh in at the appropriate time. But this is [Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck]’s team and he gets to make those decisions.”
Allen was acquired by Boston the same offseason as Kevin Garnett, and they teamed with Paul Pierce to win the 2008 NBA championship. The Big Three in Boston, Allen helped the Celtics become a power in the East. But then he upset fans and his ex-teammates when he left for the rival Miami Heat after five seasons in Boston. A year later, Garnett and Pierce were traded to the Nets.
The 44-year-old Allen has done his part to break the ice with his former team in recent years, but on a greater organizational level, there may still be something of a gap to bridge.
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