On Wednesday morning the Miami Heat's Ray Allen was on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show. The interview ended with Mike Golic asking a very simple question: He asked if based on Ray Allen's experience with the Boston Celtics they would be able to build around Rajon Rondo.
Allen's response lasted nearly a minute. Here is a break down of what he said, what he did not say, and how it might be a warning to Celtics fans everywhere.
"I believe if, you know, for the team there. They have such great fan support. The tradition and history of that team. They're always gonna put themselves in a situation where they're gonna win."
Allen begins with some items that are clearly obvious. It's filler so he has time to think about how he is actually going to answer the question. Yes, "that team" (he never says "Celtics" in his entire answer) has a great fan base and tradition. Yes, they are going to put themselves in a position to win due to the tradition and the loyal fan base. A fan base that might get angry if this rebuilding turns into a decade long process. Time is ticking.
I love Jeff Green and the year he had this year. They have the talent there. They got a great new coach in Brad Stevens, coming from Butler. So, I was always impressed with what he did at Butler. The young talent they have, they're moving in the right direction.
Next, Allen invokes two Celtics not named Rajon Rondo. He "loves Jeff Green"? Really? That's where he went with this question? Is he trying to say, in a sly way, that Jeff Green is the guy they should be building around? Green is the only player returning to this Celtics team that could possibly be better than Rondo, especially considering Green's success last season without Pierce and Garnett on the floor. It sure seems like Allen believes Jeff Green might be the guy.
You gotta be happy and excited. At some point, you have to figure, between myself, Paul, and Kevin we weren't gonna last forever and you gotta start making the transition into the next phase of your franchise and I think they're moving in the right direction."
This is the last installment of his answer. Still no mention of Rondo. Still no mention of "The Boston Celtics." Apparently, fans are supposed to be excited because the Celtics are moving in the right direction. At this point it seems like that direction is down, in order to move back up the standings in the future.
Allen's answer says a lot. It was clear his departure from the Celtics was sour, and it seems like he still has a bad taste in his mouth. His relationship with Rondo was highly publicized. Their personalities clashed, and Allen did not enjoy playing with him, and he also did not enjoy Rondo's grasp at control of the team.
This leads to the continuing question the Celtics will need to answer: Do they have someone on their current roster that they can build around? Is Jeff Green the guy? He thrived in a leadership role last year when he did not have to defer to the stars. Is Rondo going to prove too temperamental considering he'll be running a new offense implemented by a new, young head coach?
The early part of the season will begin to solve some of these questions. As long as Ray Allen is not answering them, fans might get a straight answer.
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