Fans of the Boston Celtics showed on Sunday that they may be more forgiving about Ray Allen's offseason departure than some of his former teammates. In his first return to Boston since joining the Miami Heat, Allen was honored with a video tribute and, eventually, a warm welcome.
Before Allen and the Heat took on the Rondo-less Celtics on Sunday, a tribute video to Allen was played at TD Garden. Although the Celtics fans initially greeted the team's former star with a smattering of boos, the video of highlights from Allen's five-year stint with the Celtics changed the tone. By the time it was over, the 37-year-old was being hailed with a standing ovation.
Later when Allen first checked into the game late in the first quarter, those cheers quickly turned back to boos.
Allen, who helped the Celtics win a championship in 2008, left Boston on not-so-good terms last summer.
Despite Boston trying to trade him to Memphis last April before the trade deadline, the organization still offered him a two-year deal worth $12 million. Even though the amount was double the salary of Miami's offer, Allen decided to take his talents to South Beach.
"I don't know what to expect from their side," Allen said ahead of the game. "But it's an interesting concept because I've always gotten a warm welcome, even before I started playing there. I just want to win. Everything else will take care of itself."
When the Celtics took on the Heat in Miami in the first game of the season, Kevin Garnett snubbed Allen and refused to acknowledge him in any way. As hard as it was for Celtics fans to do the same thing during the tribute video, they couldn't help but eventually cheer.
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