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.
The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal.
"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."
After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.
"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."
The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.
"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."
Highlights of the Boston Bruins 4-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche