As a person who wants to see the Celtics win, Ray Allen leaving doesn't bug me much. He'd become a bench player. And didn't seem suited to being that. In the playoffs, he was less selective with his shots, willing to attempt riskier ones than normal. Almost as if he were hungry to take as many shots as he could in the reduced minutes he was on the floor.
His defense was also suffering, mostly due to injury. He now has two new first-names: "When Healthy." Every-time he's discussed now, it's "When healthy, Ray Allen..." And that's never a good sign. It means a player has chronic injury issues. And as a 36 year old with over 1,100 games under his belt, injury issues are part of the game, not just bad luck. They also rarely go away once they start appearing.
He's old, he's slow, he can't train as rigorously as he used to. Which means his shooting will likely worsen. He still had value as a role-player and a situational shooter. But he didn't want to be relegated to secondary status.
So he took less money to play for a good team that has made him believe that he'll do more.
The Celtics got slightly worse, the Heat got slightly better. It's not a major loss for me as someone who wants to see the Celtics win. Especially since overall this off-season, the Celtics have improved.
However, as a fan, with emotional attachments to the team and the game, I hate this Decision of his.
He didn't want to try to earn a spot up here. He didn't want to fight, didn't want to endure the embarrassment of being a bench player. He wanted his ego to be boosted by someone else, not by his own performance.
He's in a mid-life crisis. The Celtics are a sensible Volvo. He wanted a flashy red Porsche (Miami). He wants an instant confidence boost. He doesn't want to acknowledge, accept, and adjust to his aging. He didn't want to earn what he wants. He wanted it given to him because he feels like he deserves it.
Good luck to him. He helped the Celtics win a title in 2008, and that should never be forgotten. For the record, I hate this decision of his, I don't hate him or even dislike him. He's on the Heat, so I wouldn't mind seeing him fail. But he should be welcomed with very loud applause when the Heat play in Boston.
I'm sure Celtics fans will do that. They're one of the more knowledgeable and thoughtful fanbases in the NBA and in this town.
And if Ray Allen does get a standing ovation, it will also show him what he gave up in Boston to get his tires pumped in South Beach.