Could it be it was truly anger which propelled Jesus to his latch out in his most demonstrative of acts? Ray Allen, the NBA’s all-time leading sharpshooter, Spike Lee’s deity like creation who starring as Jesus Shuttlesworth further ingratiated himself among the masses in the 1998 classic cult film ‘He Got Game,’ has more or less let it be known it was his simmering beef with all-star point guard Rajon Rondo that led him out of Boston and into the arms of waiting arms of newly anointed league emperor LeBron James.
But anger has only begot more anger. And as such, Ray ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’ Allen now stands disavowed by one of the league’s most signature franchises. Repudiated by varying members of even all his own NBA brethren.
“Am I wrong for thinking Ray Allen is a traitor for signing with his rival team the Heat?” New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack took the time and the extended effort to express on his personal Twitter page. “Tell me what you think!!!!!!”
To be sure any athlete worth his salt will tell you the sting of witnessing a team leader bolt for the ranks of your greatest adversary, which Miami, by virtue of having eliminated the Celts in back-to-back playoff seasons now surely has come to represent for Boston, indeed runs deep.
And yet, if they were to be truthful perhaps to a fault, they’d also have to admit the basic human inclination of one feeling wanted still reigns as the great equalizer. After five seasons in Boston, many of them— such as the Celtics’ 2008 title coronation— ending in the best of times, Ray Allen felt his time in The Garden had come and gone.
And he had the scars to prove it. It’s no secret that Allen and Rondo battled so incessantly for control of the Celts often dynamic backcourt that by season’s end they were no longer even speaking to one another.
Even the fact that as a unit, at least at times, they seemed to operate so adroitly it appeared they were joined at the hip seemed to have lost its lure. So sparse was the communication, that even reigning NBA voice or reason and Celts’ coach Doc Rivers was occasionally rendered speechless.
“Doc tried his best to mend the relationship, make it manageable on some level, but it was too far gone,” one source told Yahoo! Sports. “He felt he getting respect he hadn’t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and Doc anymore,” he added of his visit to Miami… The presentation was incredible.”
Just as adamantly, the Celts are quick to point out there interest in Allen never wavered— not whey they sought to deal him to Memphis at the season’s deadline, not when they asked him to come off the bench and serve as backup to New Jack Avery Bradley or even when they signed fellow sharpshooter Jason Terry to play the same spot Allen excels this off season.
As further proof, they point to the fact that they offered him far more money over lesser years than the Heat were able to muster. But by then, not only was the money no longer primary to Allen, it may have not even been a factor.
By then, it was mind over matter— and even money. “Ray is prideful” the Yahoo! source added. “And he was always wondering ‘Why do I have to be that guy?’ The one that’s always sacrificing.’”
And so Ray Allen decided to be the bigger man by taking what some would consider the easy way out. Granted the newfound art of joining forces to pose the super team as he’s now engaged isn’t exactly Jordanesque or even cut in the image of many of the league’s other legendary competitors.
And given all that’s now upon us, does the sports world, hell, the universe in general, really have the stomach for yet another elongated public squabble among multi-millionaire athletes? Seems, at least in this instance, we may not have to bear witness to an answer.
And to that, we can all agree, thank you Jesus.
Glenn Minnis is a veteran sports and culture writer who has contributed to the likes of ESPN, Vibe and the NFL Magazine. He has also been on staff at AOL Sports, the Chicago Tribune and was the founding sports editor for 360HipHop.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.