The issues chasing Ray Allen out of the Boston Celtics and into the arms of their most despised opponent stacked higher and higher, and suddenly everything crystallized in the hours basketball’s most persuasive recruiter, Pat Riley, captivated him. The emperor of the Miami Heat sold Allen on never hearing his name in trade talks and a run of championships awaiting him. After all these years, Allen needed to feel wanted again, needed the recruiting, and Riles had such a willing soul sitting with him in the breeze blowing over Biscayne Bay.
"He felt he was getting respect that he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore," a source close to Allen said Friday night. "…The presentation was incredible."
...Allen had a chance at the cozy, New England storybook ending, punctuated with that placid, poignant Hall-of-Fame ceremony in Springfield, where a favored son of Massachusetts would let the love and cheers wash over him. Maybe Garnett would've gone out with him, and they could've gone into the Hall, into the Celtics' rafters, together.
And then, Pat Riley walked into the room, and all hell broke loose in Boston. Allen thought long and hard, and his decision was unmistakable: He was busting out of Boston on his terms, and it cut the Celtics most deeply. Complete and utter repudiation. My turn now, Ray Allen was telling the Celtics. My turn now.