It became apparent towards the end of last season that the Boston Celtics and Ray Allen would part ways. Once you got past the sheer weirdness of seeing the Big Three separated, their break-up made sense for a lot of reasons – financial and otherwise.
Even though he was 37 years old, Allen received a lot of attention from rival teams. The one that he got the most attention from was the one he ultimately wound up with. However, outside of the Miami Heat, there was apparently one other serious contender to land his services. That one team? The Los Angeles Clippers. During a recent interview with Mike Murphy of the Boston Herald, Allen admitted that L.A. was a legitimate option for him – contrary to what the team may think.
“I believe they thought I was using them as leverage,” Allen said (via Boston Herald). “But I spoke with (coach) Vinny (Del Negro) and their people before I came down (to Miami). I said we’ll set up a trip. I told them I’m flying to Miami first, and then I’m going to spend two days in LA.
“I talked with Vinny about it and I said right now I’m a free agent. If Boston is not coming to the table for me, I have to entertain every possible scenario. I wasn’t flying from here all the way to LA just to hang out. As a free agent, I’ve never gone anywhere just to visit.”
Is he telling the truth? Who knows. It’s hard to shake the feeling that Allen specifically chose the Celtics’ biggest rivals just to stick it to his old team. You know, to punish them for thinking that he was washed up.
Either way, things worked out in the end for everyone. The Clippers boast one of the deepest benches around. The Celtics are better this season than last, despite their mildly demoralizing opening night defeat. And the Heat, well, when you take a championship team and add the best shooter in NBA history – that sort of speaks for itself.
(Kudos Boston Herald)