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Doc Rivers says blame him for Ray Allen leaving Boston

Aug 1, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Six Getty Images

Celtics fans have thrown a lot of blame around for why Ray Allen took his talents to South Beach. For a lot less money than Boston was offering ($6 million over two years less).

Sometimes the talk is about Avery Bradley taking Allen’s starting job. Usually, the blame comes back to Rajon Rondo and his strained relationship with Allen. Rondo had the ball and decided who got it when, and Allen wanted it more.

But Doc Rivers says it is more complex than that. And if you want to blame someone, you should blame him. That’s what he told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo,” said Rivers, who is working as an NBC analyst during the Olympics. “I’m the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I’m the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn’t mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.

“Think about everything [Allen] said when he left, ‘I want to be more of a part of the offense.’ Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, ‘That’s not Rondo’s fault.’ That’s what I wanted Rondo to do, and that’s what Rondo should’ve done. Because that’s Rondo’s ability. He’s the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He’s not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray.”

Rivers made the right call for the Celtics in every case. It wasn’t what Allen wanted. Allen decided not to just stay in a place he wasn’t happy just to make more money. He went where he felt wanted — and it happens to be a place he has a good shot at another ring.

Nobody really should be blamed here. But if you still feel the need, Rivers will take it on.

  1. cakemixa - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Translation: Rondo is the reason Allen left.

    • misterdreamer119 - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Rondo was pretty much useless the last two years. He’s old. He couldn’t shoot as good. He is always injured. He missed countless 3’s vs. the Fakers in game 7 a couple of years ago.

      • dsjcn3 - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        Think you got it mixed up there misterdreamer119

      • cosanostra71 - Aug 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Rajon Rondo is too old at age 26? What is this, women’s gymnastics?

      • thestudiokida - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:28 PM

        He made 1 of 2 3-pointers in that game, had 14 points 8 rebounds and 10 assists. He shot 46% which is nice compared to the overall team 40% shooting.

        You probably mean Ray Allen who was 2 of 7 from deep… but anything is better than Kobe Bean Bryant’s 6 of 24 shooting that game.

      • 24thesho - Aug 2, 2012 at 7:59 AM

        He’s old? Huh!? He was born in 1986. He played in the playoffs a couple of years ago with one arm, practically. If you’re going to hate on a player, at least hate on someone who has not won a NBA championship but acts like he has. Chris Paul and Kevin Love are at least two who seem to come to mind, but even that is wrong.

  2. luckysunday20 - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Doc did the right thing kinda sad for Ray to feel that way this late in his career.

    • 24thesho - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      I can understand where Ray is coming from; he was an under appreciated superstar player on two different teams prior to Boston and they were riding on his back heavily, he is a future Hall Of Famer and arguably one of the greatest pure and 3 point shooters in the history of the game; and other parts of his game have been overlooked because of that, and at least on the court his demeanor has been very professional throughout most of his NBA career. Doc Rivers owned up to it, Danny Ainge is an idiot who seems to think just because he played with Larry Bird and won champions in large part because of Bird and the other truly great Celtics players on those teams, that he (Ainge) seems to think he has the right to completely minimize other well respected very good players, and, future Hall Of Famers! His, Isaiah Thomas’, and MJ’s attitudes are terrible for players but at least two the three were outstanding forces in the game. Ainge was a very lucky and mediocre player who was in the right place at the right time. He knew how to play but…., you know.

      • 24thesho - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:28 AM

        And, Ray can still play well, and, even at this age is still better than Ainge (or Rivers) ever were when they were both 27.

  3. somekat - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Allen just wants to shoot, like he always has

    I highly doubt Rivers brought Rondo in to his office and said “you are going to handle the ball more, but don’t go out of your way to look for the guy who has the most 3’s ever, by a wide margin”.

    If you think a PG can’t just decide to largely take someone out of the offense, you’ve never played point guard. The best spot shooter in history, was not used well for the past 2 years, end of story. That is not Doc’s fault, maybe if Allen didn’t get time you could blame him. If he is on the floor, it is the PG’s job to get the ball where it needs to be. (FYI: It needs to be in the best shooter in the worlds hands more)

  4. chargerdillon - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    This is what good coaches do, they take responsability for the team, and they let the players play.

    When a Coach has faith in ownership to stand behind them, a coach has no problem taking the hit for criticism on players like this.

    End result: Ray will get another ring and Rondo will wish he passed the ball to Ray a little more, even if Doc said otherwise.

  5. alildusty - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Rivers is great at expressing these things. He did take the ball out of RayRay’s hands and also took away his minutes.

    still don’t like Allen jumping on the Miami Bandwagon tho….

  6. stayhigh_247 - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    To me, this makes Ray seem more like a wuss. With him getting 5-6 more touches a game doesn’t automatically win them another ring in Boston. I like & respect that he wanted to contribute more, but you have to play within the offensive scheme to be successful, if you want the ball bad enough, get open, find the ball, rebound, hustle, play some D. its not really rocket science. Miami is a totally different beast, their shooters will always be open because of Wade and Lebron which is definitely a better fit for Ray, but for him to take it personal is kinda wack. and for him to leave tells me that his bond with Paul and Kevin wasn’t that tight either. i guess he thought he was the good china and the rest of the guys were paper plates…

    • 24thesho - Aug 2, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      HA!!! I remember that tag! But I think it wrote “Stay High 149” or “147” in those days.

  7. mornelithe - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    If there’s no glossing over being done here by River’s (ergo, an attempt to deflect blame from Rondo), I agree there’s really no blame to be levied anywhere. Ray did what was best for Ray, and Rivers did what was best for the Celtics…and to take the Heat to 7 is proof that Rivers’ concept worked. A few more things go their way, and who knows how last year could’ve ended? No, I’m not trying to make excuses, but anything can happen on a given night.

    What I will say is this, Allen was suffering from some pretty serious pain in his ankles as the regular season wound down, and the playoffs began and persisted all through the playoffs. It was clear it was affecting his shooting both from 3 and from the foul line. My only real ‘what if’, is, had Ray not been slowed down a few steps by that pain, would he have been able to get open more, and would Rondo have found him more? Which translates into this year also…

    That also doesn’t mean Ray would’ve been a starter, I think everyone who saw how the different schemes Doc ran last year worked, and by FAR Ray coming off the bench with those players improved their performance greatly. So, even if Ray didn’t have the ankle issue, I think in order for the C’s to get as far as they did in the playoffs, they needed a veteran presence coming off the bench, because without it, that bench would disappear during games.

    Either way, sad to see him go, hope he plays the role he wants, he’s earned the right to go wherever he wants and I hope he’s able to end his career on his terms. That having been said, I also hope to see the Heat again in the ECF, and the Celtics are able to put them away this time.

  8. chicagofan - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    No matter what the real reason is .Doc is a class act and the best coach in the NBA.

  9. bmorehomeofthewire - Aug 1, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Doc Rivers.. A Class Act..,,

  10. quancao - Aug 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    No, the reason is NOT Rondo. But then Doc is the Man. He has always had bigger shoulders than others, as a player, as a teammate, as a Coach. Negotiations for contracts are however not the domaine of a Coach. Or plans to trade him. The one person responsible for Ray Allen leaving, other than Ray himself, because he is a grown man, is Danny Ainge. And Ainge is not man enough to admit he failed.

  11. paulhargis53 - Aug 1, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    1st off, the coach has a HELL of a lit of input on roster moves.
    Secondly, Ainge did not fail. He reshaped the roster quite well. The team is much better from last year. Ray Ray not wanting to be a reserve is why he’s no longer a Celtic. 2 years and 12 mil were offered.

  12. chicagosworth - Aug 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Shuttlesworth needs to get over himself. Rondo was one of the most interesting guys in the league this past season. He deserved the rock.

    • guyaneserj - Aug 2, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      I’m kinda confused …. Plz tell me just once.. [I ain’t greedy.. I’ll take just one], where Ray Allen has acted in any way shape or form in a manner that was unprofessional? He’s kept a dignified silence.. hasn’t pointed the finger at anyone… and just went about his business accordingly.. so break it down for me chicagosworth.. what has Ray Ray done?

  13. lakerluver - Aug 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Doc Rivers is not a very good coach, he is a GREAT coach!! The C’s had Miami beat last season and let them slip away. If KG and Pierce have anything left–along with the acquisitions they’ve made–the C’s could get to the Finals next season. Of course they will lose to my LAKERS. But at least they might get there.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      As I’ve said before, you, Sir lakerluver, are a class act. I like both the Lakers and the Celtics, and when they come together, I root for whoever has a Walton! The Lakers have a lot more to prove than the Celitcs, since Boston went to, and almost won, the Eastern Conference Championship against the eventual NBA champion. Lobstah roll with avocado for President.

  14. rallen69 - Aug 1, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Maybe ray just decided he didn’t want to play behind jason terry courtny lee and avery bradley. If i were the celtics i wouldnt have offered him a contract because at 38 he isnt worth the money.

  15. jimeejohnson - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Celitcs = Celtics
    Take it easy, spelling police.

  16. j0esixpack - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    It’s kind of tough to be a floor general if you’re not on the floor.

    Allen didn’t lose his job to Rondo. He lost it to Bradley and once they brought in Terry (in case Allen left – yet also upgrading over Allen) the choice was clear – he’d have more playing time in Miami.

    Rivers appropriately accepts responsibility for doing what was best for the team. You can’t fault Allen for doing what is best for him. He wants to play. I think it’s that simple.

  17. 1historian - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    There was no way that what happened in Boston could be avoided – Allen is over the hill for that team and they have enough in that category already. Wade and James helping in recruiting him to Miami was a big deal.

    Good luck, Ray.

    FYI – I am a Celts’ fan

  18. paulhargis53 - Aug 2, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    24: They offered Ray 2 years and 12 million. I don’t see how they really disrespected him. How Ainge is this dictator that didn’t give a crap.

    Ray will be in the same spot in Miami he would be in Boston, off the bench,at 1/2 the money.
    Ray thought he should be starting in Boston, management didn’t, that’s business. I love Ray, but he’s lost a step.
    At 37, he should do what’s best for the team. What was best is leading the 2nd unit. I’m pretty sure Doc and Ainge know quite a bit more a out running a team than a keyboard warrior such as yourself.

    You sound like a Miami fan, a know nothing one at that. Like there is any other kind……

    • niko808 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Hey Paul, Ray won’t be in the same spot in Miami as he was in Boston, instead of running through 3 back screens to get open & not receive the ball anyway, he’ll be jogging down the court to spot up for a wide open 3 from a drive & dish by Wade/James or off a double team on the post up by Bosh/James much easier on his 37yr old legs, he has lost a step but he’s gone to a situation where that won’t matter. He will also be bringing intricate knowledge of Doc Rivers strategies with him & doing what’s best for the team, but it just won’t be the celtics. They made their decision to go in a different direction & so did Ray, his just happens to be towards another Championship.

      Yours truly… a 2012 NBA CHAMPION MIAMI HEAT FAN

  19. lakerluver - Aug 2, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    @paulhargis53, finally posted a valid point. The Celtics didn’t do wrong by Jesus Shuttlesworth. The ball should be in Rondo’s hands and Ray-Ray should’ve been coming off the bench. This ain’t 2002, J. Shuttlesworth!!! As for your crack on Heat “fans”, their all a bunch of bandwagoners. Before Bosh and LeBron ce they couldn’t give away tiks to see the Heat. And as soon as LeBron takes his talents elsewhere that filthy arena will be empty once again.

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