Should Celtics Fans Be Happy for Ray Allen?
With Ray Allen recently being named a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Celtics fans have been conflicted on how to feel about his induction. Some are simply appreciative of his efforts with the Celtics and in the NBA. Others, however, still have some animosity towards Allen after his less-than-smooth exit from the team. So, the question must be asked: are Boston fans right to be hostile towards Allen? Or should they put old grudges aside and praise his accomplishments?
Yeah, Be Happy for Ray Ray:
Accomplishments with the Celts
There’s no denying that Allen helped this franchise enormously. Acquired in a trade with the Seattle Super Sonics in June of 2007, Allen, along with Kevin Garnett, formed the second coming of the “Big Three”. The two joined forces with Celtics legend Paul Pierce to create a formidable trio. In his first year with the C’s, he helped the team to their 17th championship title, breaking a 22-year drought. Allen made four other playoff trips with them, advancing to at least the second round in all of them. He was an All-Star two times while with the team. He played a total of 449 games with Boston, which included 91 playoff games, and averaged 16.7 points and 41% shooting from three.
Allen has written his name all over the Celtics’ record books. He is first in free throw percentage. He also holds the record for most consecutive free throws made (72). Allen is third in three pointers made, and fourth in three point percentage. He is eighth all-time in box plus/minus and fourth in true shooting percentage. There is no doubt that he is a permanent part of Celtics lore, no matter the opinion of him.
Allen’s Place in League History
And if that isn’t enough, consider his impact on the whole league. Allen holds the record for both the most three pointers of all time and the most playoff threes of all time. He’s a two time champion and ten time All-Star. He also has made the All-Rookie second team, an All-NBA second team, and an All-NBA team.
Fans should be happy for a guy who had an incredible run with the Celtics. Without him, they probably don’t win the 2008 title. People need to appreciate how much he was able to accomplish in the league. Remember that time he dropped 51 on the Bulls in the playoffs? What about when he poured in EIGHT threes in a quarter with the Sonics? And no, we can’t forget THAT corner three in the 2012 NBA Finals. Just enjoy his success and be congratulatory towards him on attaining the league’s highest honor.
No Way, Don’t Forgive Allen:
There is no doubt that Ray left many fans angry with the manner in which he departed Boston. Allen had an extremely rocky 2011-2012 year with the Celtics. Mid-season, the blossoming Avery Bradley overtook him for the starting spot. Multiple media outlets also had reports out that the Celtics were actively shopping Allen during the year. To put the cherry on top, he and point guard Rajon Rondo argued and fought throughout the end of Ray’s Celtics tenure. He recently shed more light on this conflict in his new book.
And then, of course, came the actual departure. The Celtics offered Allen a two year deal worth $12 million in the offseason of 2012, which included a no-trade clause. The franchise was hoping that this would alleviate some of the conflict from the previous season. However, he accepted a deal for three years, but worth only $9 million to go join the Miami Heat. This came after the Heat had just beaten the Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference. They then went on to win the championship. The two teams were forming a rivalry, and Ray only strengthened it by shunting the Celtics’ more appealing offer to go play for the defending champions.
The animosity between Allen and Celtics players and fans has only increased in recent years. When the 2008 championship team announced a ten-year reunion, Rondo told the media that he wasn’t invited. A few of the members of the team also met up on Kevin Garnett’s show “Area 21” last year, in which he also didn’t take part. After Allen came out with his new book, he and Rondo publicly butted heads again over it.
Perhaps the most heinous of all of his crimes, though, was his neglect of Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement night. Rather than attend the ceremony to celebrate his teammate’s number being raised, Ray went golfing with George Lopez. To exacerbate the matter even further, he then posted about Lopez getting a hole in one on Instagram while the ceremony was happening. No one who calls themselves a Celtics fan should even consider being happy for the man who responded to every event since leaving the Celts about as poorly as possible.
So, how should Celtics Nation feel about Ray Allen entering the Hall? Given everything he’s done since his rocky departure, one would be perfectly understood if they still felt resentment towards number 20. However, if all that he did for the franchise and for the league is considered, then there has to be some feeling of happiness for his accomplishment. At least for a few days in September when Ray will make his speech, Boston faithful should forgive his mistakes and applaud him and what he has achieved. Congratulations to Ray Allen on making the Basketball Hall of Fame.