Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The old saying of the rich get richer certainly applied to the Miami Heat Wednesday. Roughly an hour after introducing Rashard Lewis as a new member of the Miami Heat; the team welcomed guard Ray Allen into Miami.
Allen, who spent the last several seasons in Boston, comes to the Heat as a 3-point shooting ace. Allen has been deadly from behind the 3-point line for years, and that’s exactly what the Heat will be asking him to do during and at the end of games.
The 16-year veteran has averaged 20 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in his career while shooting 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point land. Allen is also lethal from the free throw line where he shoots 89.4 percent for his career.
Allen had a tough decision on whether to leave Boston or return to the Celtics. Heat president Pat Riley helped Allen make the decision.
“I came down here and I have seen Pat Riley in several situations, just in passing. We shared small conversations,” Allen said. “I had an opportunity to really sit down with him and really talk basketball philosophy. We share very similar ideals offensively and defensively. Learning and understanding what he likes and I like. I agreed with a lot of the ideas for the team.”
Allen said he left Miami excited and said that played into his decision.
The Heat’s signing of Allen has been controversial in Boston due to the report of friction between Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo and Allen. A Yahoo! Sports story blew the story open and Wednesday, Allen didn’t say anything that wouldn’t back up Yahoo’s report.
“I haven’t spoken with him at all,” Allen said of Rondo. “I know when I came down here I texted Paul (Pierce) and Kevin (Garnett). I look back at all our times spent in Boston, we had a lot of disappointments, but we shared a lot of thrills. I’m looking forward to what we can do here with this organization.”
Allen said it was hard to join the Heat as they had to say goodbye to a lot of people they had grown to love. Allen’s family has already been connected with state of the art medical facilities for his children. Allen said he “knows we’re still part of that community” referring to the Boston area.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra, who has to be looking at his roster like a kid at a candy store, said the team knew Allen would fit the squad immediately.
“We want to get to a point where we are position-less,” Spoelstra said for a second time Wednesday. “Ray obviously fits that because he can play multiple positions. There are only a handful of players in this league that absolutely strike fear in their opponents, and Ray is one of those players.”
Allen said he wouldn’t mind playing second fiddle to Dwyane Wade at the two guard position. Nevertheless, it sounded like Allen knew what his role on the Heat would be in crunch time.
“I always said, whether you start or come off the bench, the best compliment is who you finish the game with,” Allen said. “I go with what the coach wants and what the team needs.”
When asked what will be one of the memories he will keep of his time playing before Celtics fans, Allen had a very recent event in mind.
“One memory I will always have, is game 6, (of the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat) when we’re getting beat by 20; and the fans in boston were still standing saying it’s not over yet. I’ll always remember that.”
Allen also revealed in his press conference that he will return to wearing the number 34 with the Heat. Allen wore 34 in Seattle, but said when he came to Boston, “there weren’t a lot of numbers to choose from,” due to the rich history of Celtics basketball and retired numbers.
The 3-point marksman is recovering from ankle surgery that severely limited him during the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat this season. Allen said the surgery was a success.
“The surgery was good; I was walking within 4-5 days. Not a lot of swelling,” Allen said. “I haven’t been cleared to work out on it yet. But for the most part, I’m excited about it and feel good.”
Allen will bring his consistent shooting to a Heat team that needed a 3-point marksman to round out a nearly impenetrable lineup. If Allen can stay healthy, which should be easier given he’ll be playing fewer minutes, he could be the missing link to making the Heat the best team constructed in the last few decades.