Ainge: 'I feel Ray left us'

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Ainge: 'I feel Ray left us'

WALTHAM As much as Saturday morning's press conference was about introducing the C's newest signings, there was no getting around the one that got away - Ray Allen.

Allen spent the past five seasons with the Celtics before becoming a free agent this summer. The veteran guard decided to sign with the Miami Heat, a team that will pay him about half of what he could have earned had he accepted the C's offer of 12 million over two years.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, on losing Allen.

"I don't feel like we lost him," Ainge said. "I feel Ray left us to go to Miami. We appreciate all that Ray has done, and all that Shannon (Allen's wife) and Ray have done in our community and we tried to get Ray back. He chose to go to Miami."

Earlier this week in Miami, the Heat held a press conference to introduce its new signings which included Allen.

During Allen's 30-minute press conference which was followed by another 15-minute session with Boston media, the bulk of the questions he received were centered around his time in Boston which included him addressing his relationship with Rajon Rondo which was reportedly a major factor in his decision to spurn the Celtics and sign with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

"I can't say that it factored into my decision," Allen said when asked about his relationship with Rondo. "As teammates, we were brothers. I'm around them more than I am my own family. There's differences; we all have differences. That's just part of who you are as individuals. At the end of the day, we have to buy into what the coach believes is best for us. As players, we have to put our differences aside."

Allen added, "I made a decision based on what will ultimately keep me happy. I wouldn't put it on one person."

It was clear even before free agency that the C's would have a tough time convincing Allen to return.

He had lost his starting job to Avery Bradley which came after his role seemed to have already started to diminish. When you throw in the constant trade rumors coupled with an offer from the C's that was double what the Heat offered - but several million less than the offer extended to Garnett which is what Allen was anticipating - his departure did not come as a total shock to Ainge and the Celtics.

"No one player makes a team," Ainge said. "Players choose not to come here all the time. There are 30 good basketball teams out there and it's a very competitive league. There are other teams outside of Boston. We knew Ray had this option and this opportunity. He chose to go in that direction."

And the C's have chosen to do what teams always have to do in these kind of situations - move on.

But as much as Allen and the C's will cast his decision as being one about the business of basketball, there's a sense that it became personal - maybe too personal - for both sides.

"It's always both," Ainge said. "We're dealing with humans. We're not dealing with trading cards, and this is not fantasy league basketball. It's real people, real lives, real families. It's always a consideration, absolutely."

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”