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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 2:25 pm  |  64 responses

Doc Rivers Takes Blame for Ray Allen Leaving the Boston Celtics


When unrestricted free agent Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics and signed with the Miami Heat this summer, fans and media howled about Allen’s beef with former teammate Rajon Rondo, and perceived disrespect from the Celtics as the main culprits for his shocking departure. Celtics head coach Doc Rivers proposes another person to blame for Allen taking his talents to South Beach, one that no one had considered up to this point: himself. From 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. ‘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. And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been a hypocrite. In the opening speech I make every year, I tell the team: ‘Every decision I make is going to be what’s good for the team, and it may not be what’s good for the individual.’ [...] Now, Rivers wonders this: Does Allen have a bigger or better role with the Heat? ‘Ray’s got to do what’s best for Ray,’ Rivers said, ‘but having said that, he’s not going to start in Miami. And I doubt he gets the ball more. But I do think, for a guy like Ray and Paul and Kevin and Kobe [Bryant], it’s easier to go somewhere and do that than have it taken from you where you’re at. As a coach, you’ve got to do what’s best for the team. If guys don’t like it, they’re going to leave. If they stay and don’t like it, well, your team’s going to suck anyway. Even if this happens, you still have to do it. You can’t coach worrying about any individual. You’ve got to coach worrying about your entire team: whether that gets you a championship or whether that gets you fired. I think it allows you to coach free. You’re coaching with freedom because you know you’re doing what you think is right. I always tell my guys: If I’m wrong, hopefully I’m smart enough, or my staff, or one of you guys – because I do listen to you – will tell me that I’m wrong. But not one player ever told me, ‘Hey, I don’t think you should start Avery [Bradley].’”

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  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Doc has to be my favorite coach despite the fact he is on the wrong side of the rivalry. Dude seems like a class act and responsible. Gotta love when a coach sticks up for his players.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Sucks to be Rondo. Doesn’t get much credit as an elite PG. Doesn’t get much credit for the Celtics unlikely success. Can’t even get credit for Ray Allen’s departure.

  • T-Money

    i think it’s rich that doc and the celtics organization feel betrayed by ray leaving even though they tried to trade him twice in the last year. i hope ray won’t respond to this and just focus on the heat – he doesn’t owe the celtics an explanation at this point. he wasn’t happy in beantown anymore, that’s really all there is to it. also, coming off the bench behind d-wade is different than coming off the bench behind avery bradley.

  • Jer dawg

    Never liked Celtics, but always liked Coach Rivers. He takes blame for that fiasco? Takes a bullet for a departed player?
    He’s awesome. Coach Phil Jackson would never do that.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Yeah it’s impossible not to like Doc, he’s a great guy u can tell.

  • Allenp

    On the slick, Doc threw Ray under be bus, labeled him selfish and implied he was a hypocrite. But he did it so slick cats didn’t even notice. That is a man who knows how to be an NBA coach right there.

  • Heals

    @T$$$, Doc, Danny and the higher-ups never mentioned feeling betrayed. They questioned RayRay’s reasoning about being “disrespected.” The trades are a valid gripe for RayRay, but make no mistake about it this had MUCH more to do with touches on O and AvyB than Mem or Chi. Bos was best with AvyB starting and RayRay takes at least 2 screens and 10-16 seconds of the shot-clock to get a majority of his looks, his ball-handling has fallin off drastically the past few years and wasn’t reliable because of his health so what was Doc to do? Leaving for Mia to win a chip for less $$$, more power to ya. Wanna blame one of the most player friendly coaches, stand-up Org’s and unselfish PG’s in The L for a lack of respect, uck off…

  • LA Huey

    Allenp’s right. Doc is on some PJax level chatter there. “the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray… the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray.”

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    There really shouldn’t be sides in this debate. Ray left, it hurt him and the Celtics. He went to a rival. That’s salt in the wound to a team that tried to trade him. They both pretty much threw sand in each others faces before the start of the fight.

  • LA Huey

    LakeShow’s right. One good titty-twister deserves another.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree that both sides are to blame. But, don’t you see how Doc shifted it on to Ray.
    He said Ray was upset because Rondo had the ball, as if Rondo didn’t ALWAYS have the ball since 2008. When has Rondo not had the ball in Boston?
    What Doc was really saying was “I anointed Rondo as the leader and gave him free reign on the floor and behind the scenes. And Ray got jealous about it.”
    Then he slickly notes that after he benched Ray for Avery, none of Ray’s teammates stood up for him and asked for him to start again. Basically saying “Everyone knew I made the right move except for Ray, who was a little bitter because he’s getting old and his role is changing.”
    Then, the quick jab about how all Ray’s complaints about Boston will continue in Miami, so really, what’s Ray doing going to Miami?
    That was high level propaganda right there. I’m not mad at Doc at all.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Precisely.
    Purple nurples on both sides gents.
    Bow and walk away.

  • T-Money

    allenp: spot-on. and if i’m ray, i let it slide. you are NOT going to win a media battle against doc. the writers love him, he gives them great access. just say something like you had an amazing run in beantown and you have the utmost respect for everybody in that lockerrom but it was just time for everyone to move on and miami can accomplish great things next year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    This is why I love Slam.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I agree Allen, wasn’t trying to say otherwise. Ray Allen also puts the blame on the Celtics (which we could say they deserved for trying to trade him, but that’s the game isn’t it?). It isn’t really anyone’s fault. It’s business. which you seem to realize.
    I see what your saying about Rondo, but it wasn’t about him having the “ball more”. It was about him having more say on where the ball goes. Doc gave him more and more leash (as he should have) as the years have gone by. Rondo choosing the offense more seemed to somewhat alienate Ray. His first year he was at 13.5 FGA a game. Year by year they have gone down to 13.2, 12.2, 12.2, now down to 10.7 last year. Ray knew he was slowly being “put to pasture” and he didn’t like it. So he left. Fair on both sides I think. Ray blames the Celts. Doc blames Ray, but words it so well that he makes it sound as if he is blaming himself. Like you fellas said, some PJax style flair from young Doc haha.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Am I the only one that thinks BOS offense is going to miss Ray Allen?
    I know they signed Terry to replace what Allen brought but Terry doesn’t command the same kind of respect and attention from defenses that Allen received.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I honestly don’t think it will be because of Ray if the offense does suffer Taylor. Terry really is on the same level as Ray now. If Terry isn’t getting that respect that your talking about, he is going to knock down 3′s with a vengeance. Their defense should be better(Bradley starting), but the offense should remain right around the same which is good enough for the team improving, counting on Pierce and Garnett still being viable anyway.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance

    I didn’t even read that as him blaming himself. He basically said, I did what was right for the team regardless of individuals and Ray didn’t like it so he left. In essence Ray left as a result of his actions, but I don’t see it as him faulting himself at all. But he said something true there. Ray would rather go and “accept” a lesser role in Miami, than be forced into the same lesser role in Bos. Its a mind game he’s playing with himself. I like that Doc has the nice guy persona, yet he lets it be known that he’s not a push over.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY

    Doc should be a politician!

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    The f*ck is happening to this site?

  • HAMMER

    Well said, Doc. Well said. Props for the way he handled this interview. He said all the correct things. I dont see how he threw Ray “under the bus”.
    Later on in the interview, Doc points out that even if Ray would’ve returned, things weren’t going to change. And ultimately Ray made a good decision.
    People trying to make it into a Celtic/Heat thing is absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion. So he went to the Heat? That doesn’t matter and it’s pointless. Ray left because it was time to move on.
    I wish the best of luck to Ray and Doc Rivers.

  • SiMoney

    Honestly I don’t buy the whole notion that Ray Allen felt betrayed because they tried to trade him or whatever, if we all remember, Rondo was on the block to, and he was on the block for someone at HIS own position in Chris Paul and Rondo never took it personal, he instead stepped his game up…so for a veteran like Ray to take that personal when you werent even playing well neither were you healthy is kind of reaching in my opinion

  • Heals

    @JT21, depends on the match-up (I know easy cop-out/non-answer) and how much Jett has left in the tank. Ray’s ball handling (especially when the C’s were pressed) had become a major issue impacting his ability to contribute offensively. He’s a few steps slower so his advantage coming off screens (Ticket’s moving screens have been more agregious than before) isn’t what it has been (players that are beaten are able to catch-up as he goes into his shot more easily than 2-3 years ago). Unable to get to the line, passing ability is suspect at times, BUT there are nights where he’s going to be capable of really carrying a team offensively with little more than soft-screens on the perimeter and drive-n-kick-outs. For Boston Lee and Terry are a serious upgrade, the problem is Ray went to the team Bos is trying to surpass making the loss appear more significant. Also during the Philly series they were HAPPY to let RayRay shoot, now I don’t think he’ll be nearly as immobile as he was during the Atl/Phi series as he will be coming off successful surgeries this year, but for Bos (not saying it’ll be the same in Mia, plus they only need to shoot) he became too 1-dimensional and required too much hassle to create looks for. By the way for all his complaints about touches on O just check the games leading upto him breaking the 3-pt. record; I mean the C’s went sooo far outta their way to “help” him break that record it’s just ridiculous to me to hear him make this about his role in the offense of his former team instead of the excellent opportunity to finish his career he’s got ahead of him…

  • Heals

    @Si$$$, and PP34 was all traded to NJ too, but NJ changed their mind and opted for GWallace instead…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Miss me with that sh*t.
    Lake, it’s well known that the Celtics offense even with Allen goes through extened periods of droughts. They ranked 27th out of 30 teams last season in terms of offensive ratings, I don’t see how they stay the same or improve with a 36yr old KG, 35yr old PP and 34yr old JTerry.

  • Heals

    I don’t mean RayRay going public with his complaints (cause he’s been good about that), I mean when he was negotiating with Bos/in talks with Danny and Doc…

  • Heals

    @JT, true it’s tough to see it with those 3 30-year old’s you mentioned, but why leave out Green, Lee, Bass, AvyB and Sullinger (fingers crossed he makes the jump) as if they’re not key additions and younger/more athletic compliments…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Well, being real, Dallas let Terry walk for a reason. Just ask the homie Darksaber.
    Terry can shoot, and I love his pull up game, but he almost always goes right, he doesn’t handle ball pressure well, and he might be worse than Ray Allen on defense if that’s possible.
    Now I like the Courtney Lee signing, although he never seemed to regain his mojo after missing that layup in the Finals and getting traded for Vince Carter. But, he definitely has skill.
    On paper, the Celtics are more talented this year, without a doubt. But, I question how Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry will handle their roles. Terry is likely going to get less playing time than he’s used to, which always leads to him grumbling. Lee needs consistent minutes, and Jeff Green is going to be asked to play a lot of power forward and help the Celtics deal with their anemic rebounding while playing solid defense.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Basically I like the Celtics moving forward more than I like them next year.

  • Basketball_iQ

    @t-money.. doc & the organization felt betrayed? Where the hell did you read that in the article?
    I heard a person who took blame/RESPONSIBILITY for ray wanting to leave. Stfu & learn how to read

  • Basketball_iQ

    @allen p – where do you get your flawed interpretation of this article from?
    Doc not once said anything about ray “under the bus” …
    The story right here in your face, word for word,& you fk it up… How the fk you cats do that around here.dayum.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Ok, let’s use a few things called reading comprehension and decoding. I will show you a few examples.
    Doc said““People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo,’ said Rivers. ‘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,
    Now, using basic reading comprehension, we can see that Doc clearly says it wasn’t so much about Rondo and Ray not clicking, but about Ray not being happy with Rondo becoming the leader of the team. Consequently, I wrote: What Doc was really saying was “I anointed Rondo as the leader and gave him free reign on the floor and behind the scenes. And Ray got jealous about it.””
    Now, since you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “Throw him under the bus” it means to assign blame to someone else in a dispute in a manner that makes them the bad guy. Or it can mean to withdraw support from someone so that they can take the blame.
    I never said Doc said this (reading comprehension again) I said that Doc did this. He did that by shifting any blame from Rondo, who he called a great leader and player, and instead noting that it was Ray’s skills who declined, it was Ray who lost the support of his teammates and it was Ray who left for Miami despite accepting roughly the same role he would have had on the Celtics. He blamed Ray’s pride and declining skills for the decision, but smoothly cloaked it in what appeared to be blame for himself.
    Reading comprehension and decoding, key skills to intelligent conversations.

  • Mo

    @ Basketball – You obviously can’t read between the lines on what Doc is saying in this interview. Just like you said to ALLENP that “the story is right there word for word.” Stop just “reading the words” and comprehend what Doc is really saying. He’s “saying” that he’s taking the blame while basically shifting the blame/ responsibility back to Ray. It’s not that hard to figure out dude.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    LMAO^
    Co-Sign

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Heals, because their roles and potential impact on the team is not going to be as big as KG/PP/JTs

  • LA Huey

    “Basketball_iRony” would be a better alias.

  • the truth

    He’ll stand on the wing for the heat and jack up wide open 3′s when defenses collapse on lebron and wade, much easier job for him lol

  • Heals

    Mos def JT21, that’s where I think Ap’s comment about them being better going forward a little more than next year holds weight. AvyB, Green, Bass and Lee really have to assert themselves and that’ll be difficult since KG/PP/JT aren’t fully ready (and may ever be) able/willing to tske a back seat at times and those young guys have always been comfortable/successful in the backseat on good teams. That transition will probably be easier in a year, but it’s also highly likely those guys (with the exception on AvyB) have already shown their full potential/hit their ceilings…

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    The second best coach in the league behind Popovich. Love his comments. He made the right decision for the team, Ray made the right decision for him. There’s a reason why none of the players told him starting Avery was a bad idea..because it clearly was a great idea and they would have been more of a problem for Miami if Avery had stayed healthy. The Celtics won’t take a hit at all with Jeff Green’s return, Jason Terry coming on board and with drafting Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger. Ray may get his ring in Miami. All parties involved made out well in the end.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Heals, I here you but are those young guys ready to contribute on a consistent basis and is Doc ready to give those same young cats important mintues during the playoffs?
    We all now how reluctant coaches of championship contending teams are to play rookies and young players.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    wasn’t lebron trying to get doc rivers in miami at one point?

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    Doc absolutely threw shots at ray there… but he also pointed out, it was the right decision for Ray, i think.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    We know how Doc feels about his players, the man shed tears after they traded Kendrick Perkins. My guess is he’s a little hurt so if any shots were thrown at Ray or if one interprets his comments as being shots at Ray, he’s most likely speaking as a guy who was sad to see one of his guys go to another team, let alone the team that just eliminated them in the Playoffs two years in a row.

  • Heals

    I hope so JT21, I think Lee will flourish, but Green and Bass worry me. They’re solid teammates and hard workers, but both are kinda overly self-critical/tough on themselves when making mistakes so I wonder how they’ll handle an increased spotlight. I mean I dunno how Bos fans will react to both of these guys; they have “big” contracts now and they will be good players, but will they be as “good” as the front office and fans want/hope/expect them to be…

  • Dee

    A lot of those early Rondo assist went to Allen and Rondo has a bunch of assist contributed to Allen being being the all-time leader in 3 pointers…so I could see why he’d be bothered. Ray bouncing probably had more to do with his diminishing role, when its’ clear he still has more in the tank. Celtics fans need to stop with the dramatics though. Once they signed Jason Terry, I stopped feeling sorry for the Celtics…they have one of the deepest rosters yet they want to focus on Ray Allen joining the rival Heat. Stop it!

  • Heals

    Yeah LBJ did Dat, and I was scared to death of Doc joining them (still am). Nothing against Spo, but I think Doc is the ideal coach for LBJ (maybe Pop, but I think LeBron is self-motivated enough to not need Pop’s harda$$ type of accountability for star, maybe LarryBrown)…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Ray feelings got hurt, plain and simple and he still will get the ball less in Miami. Celtics ran plays for Ray, is Miami. NO

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Where are you from Seed? Your English is horrible..

  • LeBrOn 4 MvP!

    ya feel me lebron gon bring that other hardware yo, rela talk, ray ray gon be feeling the heat, drain the 3′s real talk. miami stand up!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    @LakeShow
    I don’t take precaution about scripting prodigious quantifiable information on this site man. I just transcribe and go. Believe me, slamonline.com acquaintance I can transliterate with the best of them. If only you knew my day occupation. I digress

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Ol’ Uncle Ray Ray…

  • theDankerNuggets

    thank you so much for your honesty Doc, this was really refreshing to read. With so many player and coaches going through “sources” to voice frustrations and complain and moan about things it’s really great to hear someone man up and just speak the truth

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Never has been QUITE as classy as people have made him out to be these past few years.

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    The pedophiler is correct. Doc aint quite so classy, same with fisher. Rose aint so humble neither. Kobe a leader? When??

  • BigA

    The Seed is actually Barrack Obamas alter ego – a complete douchenozzle.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    Heals is such a wimp.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The Seed, killin that Thesaurus game.

  • Clydesays

    Doc should let this alone. He’s right that Ray won’t start or won’t have the ball in Mia, but he’ll get his shots. Bos will be fine with Terry/Lee/Bradley at the 2. I do think the C’s will have youth and versatility but Ray is a HOF shooter, so he has to be covered. Both teams win in the end.

  • http://www.t-mac.com/tmac/index unf*ckwitable

    That was clever from DOC, i like him, he is a smart operator. I wouldnt say he took the blame though..more like he shifted it to Ray.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/10/nfl-players-advice-to-lebron-james-stick-to-basketball/ shutup

    scripting prodigious quantifiable information, thats like 13 syllables and you didn’t say sh!t. Lemme guess; your day job is being a tool bag. Nothing you ever scripted counts as prodigious, and your crazy opinions don’t count as quantifiable information. Time to make the donuts mofo.

  • smoove

    why are we still talking about rayin the middle of the summer

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    This site is incredible.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Pedophiler?
    HA!!
    Classic… lol
    How becoming, your expressed fantasy.

  • http://usatoday black mamba

    If u dony respect doc rivers then something is wrong. He is a class act and the best coach in the league. I have coach rivers and studied his behavior and mannerism throughout the season. He is trying to get the best results out of team. It took a hellable person to admit when you made a mistake with coaching a future hall famers, however, ray should respect hi coach decision and move forward. Besides Avery bradley is better defender and doc river is defense first kinda coach. The best in a timeout situation drawing it up…

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