If it was official last week, then it is even more official today.
Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra held a press conference this afternoon to introduce Ray Allen as the newest member of the Miami Heat. Allen, who will wear #34, left the Boston Celtics to sign a three-year deal with the 2011-2012 champions.
“It was maybe July 6,” Allen said. “I felt as though I contributed a great deal to the organization in Boston, and there was a moment where I talked to the people around me and they just said change is not bad and you have to consider this. It was that moment going forward where we said this is going to be a great opportunity for me.”
Two of the biggest factors reported as his reason for leaving Boston were his relationship with Rajon Rondo and his displeasure with coming off the bench.
Allen acknowledged there were differences between him and his former teammate and said the two did not speak during the signing process.
As far as coming off the bench, Allen joked he wished the Heat told him last week he would not be a starter.
“I never said whether I wanted to start or come off the bench,” he said. “That wasn’t really the issue. This team won a championship without me. Whether you start of come off the bench, the best compliment is who end up with. I go with what the team needs and what the coach wants.”
Allen spoke about his excitement to play with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Heat players, but he did say that is was a difficult decision to leave the Boston organization and the community he and his family grew to love.
He reached out to Kevin Garnett to let him know his decision and tell him he appreciates everything they experienced during their time together in Boston. He also shared the same sentiments with Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge.
“They were disappointed and they really wanted wanted me to come back,” Allen said about Rivers and Ainge. “I think it’s going to be good for them because they don’t have to pay me on the golf course anymore.”
Allen said one of his favorite memories was Game 6 against the Heat, and despite the 20-point deficit, the Celtics fans stayed to cheer on the team.
What will be your favorite memory of Ray Allen in a Celtics uniform?