Ray Allen’s ‘Strange Night’ Helps Heat Ring In The Season In Style

MIAMI – He knew the moment the NBA schedule was released that his first real action in a Miami Heat uniform would come against the Boston Celtics. Yet, Tuesday night’s season opener was still one of the strangest nights in Ray Allen‘s career.

How do you prepare to face the men who were your basketball family for perhaps the five greatest seasons of what will someday be your Hall of Fame career? How do you deprogram yourself from all of the things that had become ingrained over that stretch? How do you sever emotional ties with a group of men you shared the ultimate triumph with?

For Allen, it came with every single move on the AmericanAirlines Arena floor Tuesday night, before, during and even after his 19 points off the bench helped the Heat prevail 120-107 over their Eastern Conference rivals on the same night they hung their championship banner and received their championship rings. From his first 3-pointer, buried in the first quarter and a harbinger of things to come from the veteran shooting guard, to the failed attempt to broker a little peace with fiercely loyal Celtics leader Kevin Garnett, Allen made all the right moves.

None of it was choreographed or even terribly well thought out on Allen’s part.

He was still shaking his head nearly 90 minutes after the game as he tried to describe the surreal feeling of playing his first game with the Heat with the last team he played against the Heat with before his (controversial) signing with Miami as a free agent over the summer.

“It was very strange, very strange,” Allen said. “A couple of times I would see somebody running down the floor and I had to ask myself who was I guarding? Which team was I guarding? Because I’m looking at both jerseys and my inclination was, naturally, to guard the Miami jersey. But I caught myself. I think I gave Brandon Bass dap one time when he was running back down the floor and I had to catch myself, so … my brain right now has to be switched over.”

So does his heart.

But his game is intact.

Allen had 13 points at halftime, sinking two of his three shots from beyond the 3-point line and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.

“Ray was terrific,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He went right all game and we allowed him to, but he made a lot of shots. First play on the floor and we leave Ray open on the baseline corner, you would think we would know better.”

Allen was every bit of the threat the Heat hoped he’d be when they wooed him away from Boston with a chance to team up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh instead of banging heads with them for another two or three seasons in an attempt to win another title.

“That is classic Ray,” Wade would say later of his former nemesis and now teammate. “He is a professional. I was so happy every time he hit a shot because it wasn’t against us and it wasn’t against me.”

Joining the Heat was a business decision for Allen. A fresh start. A chance to start anew in a different place, where his skills and his experience would be valued, where he could put injury issues behind him and move on with a renewed energy and passion for the game.

His decision played out much differently in Boston, though, as you might expect.

Garnett and Rajon Rondo were the most vocal about it, each of them choosing their words carefully when Allen’s name came up after the breakup of Boston’s famed Big 3(+1) of Garnett, Allen, Paul Pierce and Rondo.

In the moments just before the action resumed after a timeout, when Allen first entered the game, he walked toward the Celtics’ bench and shook hands and hugged Rivers, and shook hands with assistant coaches and other support staff on the Celtics’ bench. His last move was a pat on Garnett’s back as the big fella sat on the bench in early foul trouble.

Garnett didn’t acknowledge the contact or Allen, looking away as Allen tugged at his shorts and headed to the court to embark on one of the craziest nights of his career.

“Regardless of how they feel, I have nothing but great things, warm sentiments going in their direction,” Allen said. “One thing I’ve learned being in the NBA, guys make decisions for so many different reasons. Sitting in that seat, you never can tell what a guy is dealing with … so they can be angry at me. But I’m just happy that I had an opportunity to come back out and I’m still playing and I’m able to help this team win, and still have an opportunity to see those guys. I celebrate that, because I celebrate five years of great basketball.”

As for the non-reaction from Garnett, Allen insisted he wasn’t surprised and won’t lose any sleep over it.

“You guys know KG,” Allen said. “I ask you, did you expect him to react? I don’t take anything from it. Kevin is an intense competitor. On the bench he’s in a different world, in a different zone. In the five years I played with him, you just have to respect that … I don’t look at it any other way.”

To his credit, Allen said Garnett did offer a return gesture later on in the game, in the course of the action. But if things go the way both of these teams have planned, this will be just the first of many matchups between friends-turned-rivals. An Eastern Conference finals rematch is certainly a distinct possibility.

Allen still has to make that first return trip to Boston, where there won’t be any chants of “We Love Ray” like he heard from the Heat crowd Tuesday night.

James knows all about it, having had to make a strange trip of his own back to Cleveland two years ago after leaving the Cavaliers for the Heat. That’s why he was so happy for Allen to get this first one out of the way now.

“It was a little different for me,” James, who played just three minutes in the fourth quarter Tuesday night due to leg cramps, said with a smile. “My first encounter with my old teammates was in Cleveland. So it would be a different atmosphere at tip-off when we go to Boston. But I’m glad he came out here and played an unbelievable game.”

Unbelievably strange!

94 Comments

  1. bigboy11 says:

    honestly the heat team looked very sharp, and hungry again,people in Miami likes to watch games at home most times the arena is sold out but the ticket holders stay home and watch the games with friends also they have a habit of going to the games late like deep in the 2nd quarter next time some of u talk about heat fans not going to games check the ticket sales, i agree with ray chase the ring give your self the best chance to get it

  2. Beverly says:

    I’m so happy for Ray Allen and the Heat!!!! The Celtics can look at it this way. “At least all you guys are millionaries.”
    Gooooo Heat!

    Bev

  3. Richard says:

    As a Lifetime Celtics fan, naturally i despise the HEAT, RAY ALLEN, LEBRON (X 10) If the nba finals comes down to the HEAT VS LAKERS (Whom all CELTICS fans hate) i AM GOING TO ROOT FOR THE lakers THAT’S HOW MUCH I despise the Miami Heat and especially Lebron and that PUNK WADE !!!!!!

  4. leonard says:

    what is an unbelievable game that lebron mentioned by allen. doesnt he know allen is a good player or do nba players have a set of vocabulary the they sometimes recycle out of context

  5. LS says:

    Ray played well as you would expect from him. He LOOKS out of place.

  6. jaxwel13 says:

    this is sports so act sports-minded KG dont show ur true color remember when u left Minnesota to join Pierce & Allen coz u want to win a ring Rayray is not satisfied for just a ring its a make or break career decision left on him be respectful and this is called SPORTS no draw no giving up its pure blood to the GAME!

  7. BostTonFan says:

    When we had allen yall dissed him so bad saying how sorry he is and now that yall got him OH he fye, come on heat fans stick wit 1 story

  8. Joe says:

    As a Celts fan you miss Ray immediately and as a Heat fan you immediately see his worth…well beyond a Mike Miller or a Shane Battier. He = consistency and deserves to win. His decision was based on what’s best for Ray and he helped the c’s win # 17. Let’s get over it…

  9. caballote says:

    You’re a sellout, that’s why it’s strange to you mr. allen. Disgusting, I’m glad KG dissed you like he did.

  10. Elcapitan says:

    Ray Allen is more of a man than Kevin Garnett will ever be in his entire life/career.

  11. Jack Mosely says:

    What Garnett & Rondo did last night to Ray Allen was Lily-Livered!!! Come On Man! Respect his decision, it was none of anyone’s business other than that man and his family.

  12. Karlo Garcia says:

    All i can say is Ray Allen is a professional. If there is one NBA player that describes the word PROFESSIONAL its Ray Allen. I liked how he deal with the fact that KG did not acknowledge his gesture but at the end of the day Ray had to make the right decisions for himself. Life lessons is you can’t please every1.

  13. mike says:

    Oh.. and as far as I remember Boston create big three via trades. Allen and Garnett did not come to boston because Pierce told em to do so. SO please dont compare Boston to miami. Those guys were in their 30’s not like James, wade and Bosh in their Primes

  14. mike says:

    You heat fans r dumb or what?? year ago U used to say.. Allen is to slow Allen cant guard anybody Allen that and that and now You r saying that ray will bury boston and stuffs like that… COME ON for god sake!!

  15. Benzo says:

    The Miami Heat is a joke

  16. boby says:

    ray allen is wack like all you heat fans!

  17. boby says:

    ray allen is wack nd so is the heat !

  18. bob says:

    who has the most nba championships umm celtics do>! so all you lakers nd heat fans shuut it up nd its all good ray left we dont need em! well beat the heat in the playoofs and show (wack ray allen) off.

  19. Thomas says:

    The Miami fan base grows and shrinks with every season/game. Granted there are true Miami fans, but their fan base doesnt even compare to Boston. Boston Celtics is my favorite team in the NBA hands down, but Ray Allen is also one of my favorite players of all time. It is what it is though, Ballers switch jerseys, bowlers switch balls and golfers switch clubs. It all remains the same, Boston will still be great, Allen will remain great and the miami fan base will remain fake. Lol. No seriously now i have a reason to watch Miami. The chances of a Miami championship could look good this year, but they still gotta play the entire season. If yall think one game defines a season then you should stick to middle school basketball and not open your mouth till you graduate. Pipe down when grown folk are talking

  20. RodMaruca says:

    It worth every single dollar that i´ve spend on last night´s ticket….on the moment that Ray Ray hit that first 3…… ohhhh my…… Let´s go Heat…… We Love Ray!!!!!!

    And ROndo….ummm ummmm…… cry baby….tough boy……I don´t know about this kid….. wants to be a bully…..but for me he´s just a scared litlle boy!

    K.G…..old school???? ummm ummmm that´s just unpolite…….to behave like that…idon´t know………

    Doc…. also a cry baby!

    Must be very sad for them…..end of their carreers….just one ring….and see your best player go to the younger, fresh, more talented Miami Heat…… with the possibility to win a couple more rings….

    Cry Boston Cry……

    Yes We Did it!!!!

  21. kiddo says:

    That what’s up but see yall in the finals.

  22. Jard says:

    James Jones…….whisper……sound……

  23. the flash says:

    never mind KG ray ray……….i think miami will need you most this season to repeat……goodluck miami heat…………

  24. DRose says:

    Wait till DRose comes back…
    #thereturn

  25. ps i have a RAY ALLEN boston jersey for sale any buyers

  26. Why do all you miami fans get off on having Ray Allen he couldn’t beat you guys last year with them so now we will capitalize on that and school you southern fools. Prepare to be dominated next game

  27. Pawel says:

    Mr Kevin Garnet forgot that he played in Minnesota for “a few years” and then He decided to go to Boston for a ring. He did not think about players he played with and the organization and the love in Minnesota. He wanted a ring but now he is upset that Ray will get one more after the postseason. He act like a little girl who is upset that her (used to be) friend got better looking dress.

  28. FridayThe13th says:

    you thought the celtics will win the 1st game didnt you? haha SQUIDWARD!!!!

  29. TTKIN says:

    Im glad Garnett gave Ray the cold shoulder. Gotta say, Ray has balls for actually going up to them. Ya let’s talk trash on them for a straight week about how poorly they treated u then go up and shake hands like nothing happened. Ive lost a lot of respect the last couple months for one of my favorite players and a guy I tried modeling my game after for years.

  30. Tom says:

    We just don’t care about the situation anymore. Ray Allen is not a Celtic. That’s one player, as an organization, we’ve moved on and filled out our roster accordingly. The way our organizations are run could not be more different from each other, and the fan base follows.

  31. Game Time says:

    If Miami dosen’t suffer any major injuries they are going back to the finals.

  32. BosTonFan says:

    @RR tru, i bet most of these Heat fans was rooting 4 the Lakers when they won their back to back championships cuz i wasnt hearing nothing about how the heats was goin to the Finals when that was goin on nor was i hearing that the Cavs goin, all i heard was the “LAKERS DOIN A 3PEAT”… where was the Heat fans then, time the new big 3 come together all of a sudden everybody and their momma is rooting 4 the Heats, they just like whats hot 4 the moment then move on when its old news. Tru fans stay loyal to their team no matter what kinda hardship their goin thru #BLEEDGREENALLDAY

  33. Erdal says:

    Heat fans are not real fans just a bunch of bandwaggoners…I’m a Knicks fan and Celtics are my fierce rivals but they are true fans even though I don’t like ‘em very much.Where were the Heat fans before James and Bosh?Why was AA Arena empty on every single home game two and a half years ago?

  34. Realistic says:

    I dont understand why everybody is mad for ray allen leaving the celtics other than joining the heat. Once avery bradley comes back from injury, he will be starting and jason terry and the celtics had a deal lined up way before ray allen left. can’t blame him for not wanting to be a 3rd string SG. the guy chose a chance to win another championship for less money. his character fits with the heat since everybody on the heat including the big three are underpaid excdpt for the pittman, and etc.

  35. Dom says:

    LOL! The Heat bandwagons… loving these comments

  36. cornelius says:

    good win for the heat nba champs again next year 2013 repeat in the making

  37. krisrock says:

    good game

  38. BosTonFan says:

    4 all yu ppl out there who think boston is too old to make it to the finals, NEws Flash only 6 of the boston players r 30 and over the rest of the team is in theirs 20s so atleast cum up wit a better excuse as to why we may not make it to the Finals, and just becuz we lost 1 game dont mean anything, wait til we learn how to play with each other better then lets c what happens

  39. patrick says:

    Smith,

    Every time you post an article, some of your facts are wrong, and you LOVE to run your mouth about the heat. With that said, we were not saying “We Love Ray,” we were saying “We Got Ray.”

    Cmon Man! Join the comish in his turmoil with Hurricane Katrina, which obviously still torments the northeast, while Miami stays warm and Sandy.

  40. ILOVEBOSTON says:

    WHEW!!! WHAT A GAME….
    CELTICS WILL BOUNCE BACK FOR SURE… =)

  41. timachelakay says:

    I always love Ray when he took the Celtics uniform my love went deeper. As a fan we don’t know what is going on in locker room of any team. As a Celtics fan . In my eyes is weird for Ray. The same team that beat you, the same team that took your hope now you are sitting in their bench as they celebrate their victory over you. I would rather eat any BS from the C’s. You have a ring you have money. I don’t think that Miami will add on Allen’s resume instead he will be in NBA archive of one of the weird nite. That’s my own view of the story

  42. Son of Celtcs says:

    It was childish from KG, so Ray Allen left, he wants another ring before he retires… Ambition is often mistaken for greed.

  43. RR says:

    Heat Bandwagon .. Even Tho The Celtics are so called “old” .. we made it pretty far in the finals last season.. and also all you heat fans are bandwagons .. yall didnt even kno who heat was until lebron went on the teamm.. yeah #bleedgreen #celticsalldayyy !!!!!!

  44. Ken says:

    Ray is a fool to leave Boston. Two or Three more years in Boston and he would enter the Hall as a Celtic and his number would be hanging from the rafters. Also he would cement “Legend” Status in Boston. Boston is regarded as a “Storied” Team and will continue to be long after Miami is back in the “Whatever File”. The “I Love Lebron” therefore “I Love Miami” fans will have moved on to the new flavor of the day

  45. danijel says:

    Boston rules when Milicic comes in the game they will stop Wade and James with his left hand like when he do on Mutombo,T Mac,Griffin etc.

  46. Fo Real says:

    So Miami is going to be in the Finals again for sure!!!! BOS can’t beat em, and we all know the rest of the east is aiiight at best until Rose comes back. As a Heat fan I cant complain! :)

  47. ivan says:

    man..wow… ray allen really is a big factor on the celtics..stupid celtics letting ray go..

    • Celtics says:

      Ivan, it is not Celtics letting Ray go, Stupid Ray just want to play with the champs. Celtics willing to pay more. There is no loyalty in Ray. Watch, he will do the same and leave the Heats to a better team (LAKER or future BROOKLYN) if he decided not to retire in 3 years.

  48. babyg says:

    For everyone hating on Allen because he left the Celtics remember he started his career in Milwaukee. Will always love this guy for the run he helped take us in 2001. Oh yeah, and don’t forget Milwaukee got screwed by the refs in 2001 to get the Sixers in the finals.

    • huh? says:

      What the hell are you saying about? In what world does Ray Allen start his career in Milwaukee? Not this one, that’s for damn sure. Get your facts straight babygirl.

      • FUEGO says:

        wow Huh? You really od not follow basketball because Ray Allen did start his career as a Buck.from 96-2003. Wow you gotta get your facts straight lol.

  49. john says:

    @EE your frustrated like your Celtic team…hahhaha did you watch the entire game???are you blind??LBJ is out in 4th quarter but your team is nothing haha sorry Old school boy..Heat all day

  50. anthony says:

    If people even read the text written by the author, KG did a return gesture later in the game. Like Ray Allen said, Kevin Garnett was in his zone, and he knows it just as well as the other Boston players. Whatever happens on the court is all professional.

  51. what says:

    average joe get off the heat bandwagon

  52. EE says:

    Celtics will destroy the Heat this season, just wait and see. They’ve had a total reboot. Rondo will blast off Allen and princess Wade. Lakers and Celtics final, that’s a true final!

    • Juniel says:

      lmao u have more chances of the Knicks making the finals then the celtics kill urself ur team is a retiring home there all old and washed up

    • Basketball Junkie......yeah I needed that fix says:

      @EE……..dude what games were you watching? Lebron didn’t even play that much in the 4th qtr and we almost blew our lead, but we gained it back and won by 13 pts……….also for it to have been game #1 we scored 120 (hell Allen scored 19 of those by himself). Oh yeah, where are all the Lakers fans at now? Really….really if game 1 vs Mavs is any indication of the new look Lakers——-they aren’t even going to make it past OKC/SPURS to even advance to the finals. Now pardon me if you are prophetic, psychic, or what have you and you’ve already seen the future with Celtics and Lakers in the finals, but if you aren’t which I believe then stop dreaming!!!!!!!

      • amitpal says:

        I’m not a laker fan but I’m always suprised at how little people know about basketball. Ur a miami fan and u should know about this better than anyone. The lakers haven’t even had a full preseason. When the heat first got together they had a full preaseason and still lost to the celtics pretty handly on there first game. It takes time for chemistry to gell together. Those of u who actually thought the lakers were going to easily win must have been joking urself.

      • Game Time says:

        The Lakers are going to be the biggest failure of this season.

      • LoL says:

        Heat fans are apparently ignorant as hell or must have amnesia about the year before they one the championship when they all first got put together. A team needs alittle time to show what they can really do together. I am a 76ers fan not a lakers fan and i can still see what should be obvious to a Heat self proclaimed basketball junkie.

    • DREAM_ON_BTCH says:

      yeah right..sure! READ MY NAME

    • ULOL says:

      IYD=IN YOUR DREAMS :D

    • Markrockz says:

      Its that’s your opinion, we respect that.Good luck on your team! We Miami fans know, HEAT will REPEAT!

    • atatna says:

      are you sure? I don’t think the celtics will have enough energy during playoffs. 82 games for kg and pierce? goodluck. be realistic EE

    • SamIAm says:

      EE, seriously? What game did you watch???? Celtics getting old and decrepit. garnett is a sore loser for not shaking Allen’s hand. Allen, thank you for a great game. MIami has a great team, without Wade and James, which will help them get rest. Wade the princess??? You mean garnett and rondo the cry babies…
      Final, same as 2012, or may be Heat vs Lakers, EIther way Heat is in and Celtics are OUT (no hard feekings Celtics fans, you need a shake down and kick old players out)…

      • LoL says:

        No it seems like the celtics would rather have players that have given them so much stay on the team and retire with them instead of just throwing them away. Respect to the celts organization for doing what so many Pro sports teams refuse to do. Most die hard fans do not want to see players who they grow to love and have been the face of the franchise for so long just get dumped to the curb.

      • TrueBeast says:

        @LOL yup just like KG when he was at Timberwolves

    • lebronheatREPEAT! says:

      i guarantee if the heat were in a elimination game against the celtics again lebron would have no problem coming out n dropping 45 to 50 again to lead them over the celtics. But the heat could sweep the celtics now. Celtics are a$$

    • LoL says:

      Love how all these Heat fans only show up when they aquire stars from other teams. NEVER had anything to say until they got shaq then after that championship you guys disappeared until LeBron decided he wasnt good enough to win without selling out his hometown. Most of these fans are a joke. My apologies to true Heat fans but not the bandwagoners. All in all should be a great season but a tough one to repeat with all the good teams around the NBA.

      • trueHEATfan says:

        Hey, I resent that. Real Heat fan here , remember as a 12 year old watching Glen Rice throw down 44 one night, Steve Smith quietly smashing teams, or Tim Hardaway , Big Alonzo,and, Eddie Jones dominatiting when healthy. Nobody cared about the heat when Wade was down in 08′ and they didnt even win 20 games, I was there watching those games. Too many people slept on us for too long, now its time to win a few more to shut up all these haters and rememeber, D.Wade will always have one more than LeBron if they play together till the end.

    • FridayThe13th says:

      you thought the lakers will win the 1st game didnt you? haha SQUIDWARD!!!!

    • FridayThe13th says:

      you actually thought Celtics will win the 1st game?? haha SQUIDWARD!!!!

  53. Darius says:

    Ray you are unbelievable. The heat team has got the best out of that summer. May the heat win another championship with you this year.

  54. bb22 says:

    i think this was more of a crumbling celtics generation than an overpowering miami heat team

  55. Average Joe says:

    This is going to be a blood feud. No matter what Allen says about Garnett, the dude is still one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the game and I very much doubt that he will ever give Ray the “friend” treatment. Anyway, this is going to be a great season for the NBA. Lots of storylines to follow and some of them have already had a crazy start, like with the Lakers loss to undermanned Dallas Mavericks. The Juggernaut has already been stopped.

  56. claudio says:

    RAY ALLEN IS A TOTAL JOKE,HE MIGHT BE SORRY BUT NOW IS TOO LATE

  57. baboy says:

    heat will repeat unless injury happens

  58. the bull says:

    heat repeat!

    • roselyn says:

      after the re match of the game the celtics will won the game!

      • Average Joe says:

        Haha. You wish, pal. Miami gonna kick your @$$es again and Rayray gonna bury you with threes. That’s what KG gets for ignoring an old friend.

      • lebronheatREPEAT! says:

        haaa yea celts are old kg rondo and pierce have nothing on the king d wade bosh or ray ray. heat are the kings of the nba!

      • FridayThe13th says:

        you thought the c’s will win the 1st game didnt you? haha SQUIDWARD!!!!

  59. bigboy11 says:

    WHERE ARE THE CELTICS FANS, HIDING I GUESS

  60. leroydragon says:

    looking forward to watching this one when i get home from the office! much love from Australia!