The precarious relationship between Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen was supposedly the only reason that Allen chose the Miami Heat over the Boston Celtics. However, Rondo might not be the sole culprit for Allen burning bridges with the Boston Celtics.
In a recent interview, Doc River said,
"People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo," said Rivers. "I'm the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I'm the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn't mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.
"Think about everything [Allen] said when he left, 'I want to be more of a part of the offense.' Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, 'That's not Rondo's fault.' That's what I wanted Rondo to do, and that's what Rondo should've done. Because that's Rondo's ability. He's the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He's not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray.
"And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn't done that, I would've been a hypocrite. In the opening speech I make every year, I tell the team: 'Every decision I make is going to be what's good for the team, and it may not be what's good for the individual.' "
The irony in all of this is that Ray Allen will probably have the same role with the Miami Heat that he would’ve had with the Boston Celtics after he got downgraded. But the issue was never about the money or being in the starting line-up, it was really about respect. Ray felt like he lost his voice with the team and that his relationship with Rondo was becoming more and more irreconcilable. The Miami Heat, however, recruited Allen by telling him that the respect that he had garnered over his illustrious career was exactly what they needed.
The Celtics have now replaced Ray Allen with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. And they should fit in seamlessly as Doc continually puts the ball in Rondo’s hands to run their offense. Jason Terry, in particular, brings a voice and a swagger that will easily fill in the gaps that Ray used to fill. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will play their first game against each other on national television on Jan. 27th.