Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and other former Celtics went on TV to talk about how sensitive they still are about how Ray Allen left the Celtics for the Heat in 2012.
Allen’s former Miami teammate, Udonis Haslem, stuck up for him.
Haslem on The Joe Rose Show on WQAM, as transcribed by Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:
“It’s not like the year before with Ray they beat us,” Haslem said of the Heat defeating Allen, Garnett and Pierce in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. “Put it this way, it wasn’t the similar situation to maybe Kevin Durant going to the team that beat him. It was, you got your ass whooped with Ray, and we got Ray and we whupped your ass again.”
“I mean, they got to let that go,” Haslem said. “I think when you get to a point where you’re a free agent, you have the opportunity to make the best decision for you. Quality of life: Boston, Miami? Ahh, you guys can figure that one out.
“You’ll never hear me say anything bad about Ray. Even if he was to leave the Heat and go play for San Antonio, I would still have the same, as much respect for Ray. And if we had to play then the next year, it wouldn’t change the way I feel about Ray as a person. And I’m the ultimate competitor. Like, I keep a bad taste in my mouth, I keep a chip on my shoulder. You can’t be mad at Ray. Ray’s not that guy.”
I don’t see how this differs from Kevin Durant. Both Durant and Allen signed with the team that eliminated them from the playoffs then achieved success with their new team.
But Haslem is right about one thing: “They got to let that go.”