In the last two consecutive seasons the Miami Heat have ousted the Boston Celtics in the Playoffs. Not an easy pill to swallow for the veteran squad. Let it there be no doubt about this: ever since the Miami Heat followed the same formula for success that landed Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in the Boston Garden to land Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the South Beach and to their first NBA title, there has been an intense rivalry between these two teams. The Eastern Conference has seen a bit of talent emerge in the recent years, with powerful lineups from the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls mixing things up quite nicely. But no other two teams have managed to produce such an intricate and complex rivalry as these two big teams. So it had to come as a huge surprise, a huge letdown for some, that earlier this year, Ray Allen opted to leave the Boston Celtics and joint their archenemy the Miami Heat. It was hard to understand for the fans. They cared about Ray Ray, as he was called in the Garden, they liked his fine shooting and they were hoping that the big three would retire in Boston. After all, it is no surprise that these guys only have two, three, four at best, seasons left in their legs. They have the championship ring to prove they were for real and despite what every one says at the beginning of the season, that they are too old, that there's too much mileage, too injury prone, the Celtics keep on giving one heck of a fight in the East.
The thing here is that Ray Allen wasn't happy. And despite everything that the organization tried to throw at him in the summer break, it became evident that Ray Allen wanted out. He didn't take well with all the rumors during the second half of last season that mentioned him as a possible tradeoff. He wasn't happy with the limited minutes he was getting and how his role in the Celtics offense was slowly but surely been cut off. But perhaps it was the way his relationship with head coach Doc Rivers deteriorated that was the biggest concern for Allen. These two guys used to golfed together, they were close friends in and out of the court. But they had grown apart. And neither money, nor a no-trade clause in his contract would be enough to keep him in Boston.
Allen himself expressed his discomfort with the way things broke down between coach Rivers and him. "Doc never called and said, 'We want you to come back,'" Allen said. "I can't say I expected him to do that. It's hard to say what the protocol is in those situations." The thing is that he left and despite the huge perks and benefits that Celtics president of Basketball operation Danny Ainge threw at him, he didn't want to stay. Let's not forget that the Celtics offered Allen twice as much as the Heat did in a two-year three million dollar contract. He gave him a no trade clause. But despite the raise, he would still be the fifth highest paid Celtics. Now its up to them to play it out in the basketball court and open up a new chapter in their rivalry.