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

by August 03, 2012
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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.'”