BOSTON (CBS) – While the Celtics would have loved to have had Ray Allen retire wearing green, head coach Doc Rivers said the time was right for both sides to move on after a tumultuous end to the 2011-12 NBA season.
“When you have a lot of complaints, you probably need to go somewhere else,” Rivers told ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan of the Allen situation. “Sometimes guys just run their course at a place. It’s probably best for all of us and for Ray that he moves on.”
Allen, now a member of the rival Miami Heat, was displeased with his role, as the 16-year veteran was asked to come off the Boston bench. He was also not a fan of the Celtics nearly trading him to Memphis at the trade deadline, as well as how they handled his free agency this summer. Allen did not feel like a priority for the Celtics, and thus opted to sign with the Heat for less money.
And then there was his feud with point guard Rajon Rondo, which was well-documented at the end of the season and throughout the playoffs.
But Rivers said it was not Rondo’s fault Allen left.
“It’s just not right to put it all on Rondo,” he said. “Ray didn’t leave because of Rondo. He left because of Ray.”
“He wanted the ball more. He wanted a bunch of different things. He didn’t feel loved. That doesn’t make Ray a bad guy,” added Rivers. ”What it came down to was I felt I’d rather have the ball in Rajon’s hands. That was Ray’s problem, not Rajon’s. Rondo was the guy with the ball. It’s not his fault.”
As he did earlier in the off-season, Rivers said he also deserves share of blame for Allen’s departure.
“I needed to take some responsibility for [his unhappiness],” said Doc. “I made some of the decisions on how we should use Ray, and I would say Ray played pretty well in the role we drew up for him.”
With that being said, Rivers is pretty happy the Celtics were able to add Jason Terry and Courtney Lee in Allen’s spot.
“You give me Rondo and Avery (Bradley) and Jason Terry and Courtney Lee and I’ll take that four-guard rotation over any other in the league,” he said.
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“I’m very excited,” Rivers said. “I like our team, but then, I like our team every year on paper.
“I can’t wait to get in the gym and see if I like them on the floor,” he added.