Paul Pierce ‘a Little Bitter’ About Ray Allen Leaving Celtics for Heat

by August 03, 2012

Doc Rivers blamed himself for Ray Allen’s shocking departure to South Beach this summer. And Ray’s former teammate Paul Pierce admits that he’s feeling a little salty about the whole thing. From the Boston Celtics’ team website (via ESPN): “Ray made the best decision for him,’ Pierce said. ‘That’s what it’s all about: You get in these situations, you become a free agent, and you make a decision based on what’s best for you and your family. Ray will always be a brother for me. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t be wearing a championship ring. So the things he was able to do for this organization, will never be forgotten.’ Asked if he’s talked to Allen since he spurned Boston’s two-year, $12 million offer to sign with Miami for half the value, Pierce said, ‘A couple texts. I’m a little bitter that he went to Miami, but he’s still a brother of mine.’ Pierce said that, despite the departure of Allen, he is a fan of what Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and his staff have been able to do this offseason, reassembling much of the core, highlighted by a three-year contract extension for Kevin Garnett. ‘I love what Danny’s been able to do,’ Pierce said. ‘It was a tough decision this summer. A lot was riding on what direction we were going to head in. It was just a domino effect, once we signed Kevin, we knew were going to try to make another run at it. That’s pretty much the way I looked at it. Once we signed him, a number of guys were able to jump on board. I thought Danny did a good job of trying to replace Ray Allen. As you know Ray Allen went off to Miami, on his choice, but he was a great teammate, it was fun playing with him. But I think the guys coming in here — Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, trying to get a healthy Jeff Green, even some of our rookies — I think we’ve added a lot more depth, and it’s going to take a lot of pressure off me this upcoming season.’ […] Pierce expressed ‘fresh excitement’ for the new season and noted: ‘We’re going to build on what we did last year. I think we”re more talented. We were able to bring back Brandon Bass — we brought back our starters and then added to it. I think we have a deeper and better bench. Hopefully, it reflects better in the playoffs, so that we can go for a championship.'”