It was anything but a king's welcome, but that didn't mean Ray Allen's return to the TD Garden was completely bereft of sentimentality.
One of the biggest story lines surrounding Allen's first game back in Boston since signing with the Miami Heat was how the former Celtics sharpshooter would be received by fans on his old home floor.
Thanks to a tribute put together by the Celtics, the crowd's reaction to Allen in a Heat jersey was mixed to start. During a timeout in the first quarter, a video on the TD Garden Jumbotron showed clips of some of Allen's best moments as a member of the Celtics. The crowd booed at first, but the boos turned to cheers as the highlights continued. By the end, it appeared as though a significant portion of those in attendance gave Allen a polite ovation.
But, in terms of niceties, that was it.
When Allen checked into the game later in the first quarter, he was met with a healthy does of boos. The first time he caught the ball, the boos were louder. And when he got to the free throw line in the second quarter, he was booed loudly and lustily. When he missed the first of two freebies, the crowd was overjoyed.
Today, with the Heat in town, and with the Celtics in the middle of a six-game losing streak, fans at TD Garden are rooting for laundry over anything else -- and Allen's wearing the wrong kind.
Big Papi's "spring training" involves a beach chair -- not a baseball bat.
The former Boston Red Sox slugger made it clear on Instagram that he has no interest in returning to Jet Blue Park to begin training for the 2017 MLB season.
He announced in Nov. 2015 he would be retiring after the 2016 season, and he appears completely content with that decision despite speculation of his return to MLB. Ortiz posted a video on Sunday of himself in a beach chair reclined and relaxed.
"What's up [Instagram]. Oh, so good be retired. At the beach with the familia, the ladies. Big Papi in the bulding. This is my spring training. How 'bout dat? Enjoy. See you when I see you. Peace," he said, and then chuckled.
Ortiz's video came a few days after Hanley Ramirez said that if Ortiz made a return to baseball, he would be doing it, in part, for Ramirez, because they miss each other.
WBZ's Dan Roche then tweeted out Ramirez's comment on Thursday, and Big Papi waited no time to respond. Within 16 minutes, Ortiz had responded to reiterate he would not be returning to the Sox.
Most NBA teams would benefit from adding Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler. But few NBA have the assets to acquire him. The most legitimate suitor in the NBA resides in Boston.
"The potential of a Boston-Chicago deal for Jimmy Butler -- I think it will loom over the entire week," Yahoo! NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said Saturday. "These teams have engaged on the potential of this trade. They have not gotten far down the road on it. There still needs to be alignment within the Bulls organization -- from ownership to management -- that they want to make the decision to enter a full rebuild.
He added: "But the poential of this deal really illustrates the State Farm right combo, because these are two teams that have exactly what the other wants. Boston has been hoarding assets for years for a couple of season, trying to get in the position to get a star player."
Wojnarowski suggested the first building block for the Butler trade would start with either the 2017 or 2018 Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick, which the Celtics acquired in 2013 in the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade.
"And Jimmy Butler in Boston, paired with Isaiah Thomas and this Celtics team -- it would put this Celtics team in a position to seriously challenge Cleveland [Cavaliers] in the east, not only in the short term, but also in the long term."
Butler's contract extends to 2020, and then Wojnarowski explained Boston could then sign the guard to another long-term deal. In the meantime, he could help Boston surpass a vulnerable-looking Cavaliers team.