Doc Rivers admits he's "disappointed" in Ray Allen's decision to leave the Celtics for Miami, but says Allen's departure "doesn't change the way I feel about him".
Our relationship wont change, Rivers said Saturday night at Rollins College as he watched a practice session for the Celtics' summer-league team.
At the end of the day he was great for us here, and thats all you can say. Clearly we would have liked him to stay with us, but I respect Ray, and that will never go away.
Rivers said Allen had "his reasons for leaving," but wouldn't go into them. ("I'm sure he'll express those with the media.") He did say, however, that he didn't agree with them.
"No, I didnt agree, but that doesnt matter," he said. "It doesnt matter what I think. I just wish we could have found a way to sign Allen, and we didnt. Always put it on us its easier.
Rivers hinted that Allen may have been offended that the Celtics made re-signing Kevin Garnett their top offseason priority, rather than re-signing him.
"Kevin Garnett was our focal point, and he should have been," said Rivers. "If that got anyone ruffled, then thats probably too bad . . . He probably got bent sideways a bit by us courting Kevin. I really dont know, honestly."
Rivers said the Celtics also "recruited" Allen -- "Danny Ainge in particular did exactly what he should have done" -- and added, "We did everything we were supposed to do."
He talked to me. It was a good talk, Rivers said. You know how I am. A guy makes his mind up, Im not going to try and change it. I respect him for all he did for us, and I thought he should have stayed with us. Actually, you just have to let it go.