So long, and farewell – By Cameron Heffernan

With news breaking of Ray Allens’ departure from Boston to Miami, Cameron, a die-hard Celtics fan, says bye-bye and takes a look back at the career of ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’.

Everything ends in life, whether it be your favorite television show or your favorite family member no matter what they are either going to get cancelled or die. It’s an inevitability. Free Agency in basketball is much like a prenuptial agreement in marriage; it’s something that says, “I know someday we’re going to split and I would like to make sure I don’t lose my shit and I’m able to leave this relationship, no string attached.” Today Ray Allen enacted his prenuptial with the Celtics and much like Shane Battier last year, decided to run to the Heat in search of another Championship.

Ray Allen didn’t start with the Celtics, but it sure felt like it. Matter of fact, the whole 2007-2008 team that eventually won the NBA Championship asserted itself in the annals of Celtics history, and every member of that team felt like they were Celtics for life. Even though Ray had been with the Bucks and Sonics, it just felt like not only had he suffered through the horrid years of the ’90s and ’00s but he was going to continue to be a Celtic till the day he retired.

This was a terrible assumption, especially judging that basketball players show no real loyaltyto cities or teams. Their owners are the saame way, treating human beings as just commodities. See Deron Williaams: He could have gone to his hometown Dallas Mavericks this year in free agency; instead he went to New Jersey where he would get about 21-million more. Can you blame him?

The announcement of Allens’ departure came via a Twitter post by Heat Owner Micky Arison. “I was just woken up with wonderful news,” Arison Tweeted while in Europe. “Welcome to the family #20.” And with that,  Allen was gone from the hearts of Celtics fans everywhere, and maybe basketball fans too, seeing as the Heat are considered the evil empire of the NBA.

Ray Allen was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks as the fifth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played there for seven years averaging 19.6-points, 3.7-assists and 4.6-assists. During his time in Milwaukee he was in “He Got Game”(1998)  a  film by Spike Lee, in which Allen played ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’ a high school basketball phenom whose father (Denzel Washington) has a ticket out of prison if he can get his son to sign with State College, what state you ask? Who the hell knows. It’s a pretty damn good movie and Allen gives a decent performance   along side Washington. Allen led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001 with Sam Cassel and Glen Robinson but ultimately fell short to the Allen Iverson led 76ers.

Allen was traded from Milwaukee to Seattle in 2003 for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason, Allen averaged 24.5/5.9/5.6 in the 29 games he played for Seattle to end the ’03 season. Allen was limited to 56-games in 2003-2004 due to injury; the next year he and Rashard Lewis (when he was a formidable basketball player, and not just a salary-cap-sucking leech like he is now. He was once caught for doing PEDs and he still sucked) led the Supersonics to the Eastern Conference semi-finals where they were eliminated by the eventual NBA Champion, San Antonio Spurs. Allen flourished for the Sonics with splits of 24.6/4.4/4.8, he also moved into second place all-time in threes and broke the single season record for threes made. Allen was traded from the Sonics to the Celtics in 2007 and became that necessary piece that brought Boston it’s 17th championship.

Allen spent the last five years with the Celtics, he averaged 16.5/2.7/3.4 in those five years an won his first NBA Championship along side Kevin Garnett (also his first) and Paul Pierce (first title also). Allen brought an outside threat to go along with Garnetts’ inside presence; along side budding second-year player Rajon ‘triple-double’ Rondo and Paul ‘the truth’ Pierce. It was great to watch Allen rip it up with the Celtics for four years, that fifth one just doesn’t count. Last year he was limited because of bone spurs in his ankles and heels and he looked like a shell of the old Ray.

Allen looking like a shell of himself is why I’m not worrying about this acquirement by the Heat; yes he’ll be able to give the secrets of the Celtics to the Heats’ players and coaches but it won’t matter, Allen could barely defend anyone last year and it’s been that way since 2010; his lack of defense was big part of why the Celtics lost the ’10 Finals, along with the factor that they got shafted by the refs and they couldn’t rebound if their lives depended on it. Allen has had himself a hall-of-fame career though, he has a career split of 20.0/3.6/4.2, he’s the all-time three-pointers made career leader at 2,718, he’s a 10-time All-Star and a two time All-NBA. I’m not worried when it comes playoff time, the Celtics were a healthy big man, and a healthy Avery Bradley away form possibly winning the NBA Championship, now they have the Jet (Jason Terry) and they’ll probably add more since Allen won’t be eating up anymore cap space.

To end this I would like to just say on behalf of all Celtics fans, so long Ray and thanks for everything; but when it comes time to play you and the Heat, it’s on and I hope you break your ass, just kidding, but seriously.

Cameron Heffernan is  a writer and editor at Hefferbrew. He loves the Celtics and realizes they wouldn’t have won without Ray in 2008, but screw him for going to the Heat of all teams. Thank goodness Garnett didn’t go to the Celtics like Stephen A. Smith said he should.

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