Grousbeck: Allen's price too high for Celtics


Grousbeck: Allen's price too high for Celtics

By now, the news has set in: Ray Allen is teaming up to form a Big Four in Miami -- not in Boston.

He's taking less money over more years than what the Celtics were offering, and he's leaving behind a fan base and teammates who adored his smooth stroke from beyond the arc and his professionalism on and off the court.

Count Wyc Grousbeck as one of those fans. Danny Ainge, Grousbeck, and the rest of the Celtics front office did all they could to get Allen back, but it wasn't in Allen's best interest.

Grousbeck spoke on the topic on The Felger and Mazz Show (98.5 FM, CSNNE) Monday afternoon, admitting that losing Allen will hurt, but based on Allen's demands, it was the only option.

"It's a blow," Grousbeck said of loosen Allen. "We tried hard to get him back. We made the best offer anybody made him, but he didn't take it."

There were reports the C's were considering offering Allen a no-trade clause -- "I don't think that's a huge issue, and I think we would have made that commitment to Ray if he would have asked," Grousbeck said, "and maybe we did make that commitment to Ray along the way."

There was another report in the Boston Herald that Allen wanted triple what the Heat were offering -- "Let's put it this way," Grousbeck started, "Ray named numbers that were- he would have come back if we had- I believe he would have come back if we had hit a large number that would have precluded us under the 74 million cap and basically signing other people that we needed. So it wasn't fitting into the program."

The Celtics instead signed Jason Terry and Jeff Green, while re-signing Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. They've got a little more wiggle room -- not much -- and hope to add a few more final pieces that wouldn't be possible if Allen got the money he demanded.

Grousbeck will remember Allen the same way most Celtics fans will -- he did a ton of good while he was there, but ignoring the why and how that he's not there anymore is pretty hard.

"Oh, you know? I just literally got goosebumps thinking about how I'll remember Allen," Grousbeck said. "That's emotion again coming into it. I remember sitting there in Game 4 of NBA Finals in L.A. when we were down 24 points and Ray nearly single-handedly brought us back with a record-setting barrage of three-pointers and we won and went up 3-1 on the Lakers in '08.

"I remember him holding his son Walker and talking about his family and how important they are. I remember him setting the three-point record in a Celtics uniform. And unfortunately I'm going to remember him saying he's going to our arch rivals for half the money. But most of those things are very, very good and he's done a lot for us and we were glad to have him."

Grousbeck wouldn't go as far as to say that Allen wanted to "stick it" to the Celtics for throwing his name in trade rumors and replacing him as a starter. But he did have one little jab to add in the end.

"I don't know. I doubt that very much. I think it's making the best decision for him and his family and I'm OK with that. I think he shot the highest percentage of three-pointers that he ever shot over the last two years, and Rondo is feeding him that ball perfectly, so he's going to have to get that ball from another point guard in another offense and we'll see."

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup