Ray Allen Joins the Top Ten Boston Sports Traitors List

Ray Allen in better days with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce after winning NBA Championship
Et tu, Ray Allen?

Ray Allen’s decision to leave the Celtic’s and join conference rival, and current NBA champ, Miami Heat, puts him in a select class of Boston sports traitors. How many sports figures have snubbed Boston to join an arch-rival (and have any done so for LESS money)? Here is my all-time Boston Sports Traitors Top Ten list:

  1. Johnny Damon* – Went to arch-rival New York Yankees and in doing so renounces his lifetime hero status in Boston.
  2. Harry Frazee – Sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for cash to keep his Broadway play going.
  3. Alan Eagleson – Sleazy agent that never relayed to Bobby Orr the Bruins’ contract offer, and convinced him to head to the Chicago Black Hawks.
  4. Eric Mangini – Rewarded the Patriots trust in him by jumping to the in-division, arch-rival Jets and started the Spygate scandal when he squealed on his former coaching peers and teammates.
  5. Ray Allen – Boooo Ray-Ray.
  6. Wade Boggs – Jumped to division rival Yankees and rode a horse.
  7. Curtis Martin – Took the cash and went to division rival New York Jets.
  8. Bill Parcells – Went to both division rivals, the Jets and Miami Dolphins after ‘retiring’ from the NFL.
  9. Adam Vinatieri – Went to conference rival Indianapolis Colts when the Patriots offered a low-end contract.
  10. Roger Clemens – Left Boston when GM Dan Duquette low balled his contract offer.
*Also known as Johnny Demon, Judas Damon, and Benedict Arnold.
Honorable mention: Theo Epstein

While this list is obviously very subjective, I tried to take into consideration what the home-town team was offering them at the time. In many cases like Clemens and Vinatieri the local team clearly undervalued them and offered contracts well below their market value.

Now, on to Ray Allen.

Whenever a beloved athlete leaves your town for less money, it is a slap in the face to those fans and that town. Whenever an athlete jumps ship and goes to his former team’s rival (and one of their main obstacles in winning another NBA Championship), he is hurting his former teammates and fans. Whenever a player goes to his “best chance to win a championship” and that team happens to be the current NBA champs – if they win another title he accomplishes NOTHING, since without Ray Allen the Heat were still the odds-on favorite to win another NBA Championship. Where’s the sport in that? When has riding the coattails of the best team currently in your sport become noble?!

What is really ridiculous is the spin some local Boston sports media members are putting on Ray-Ray’s departure; “If you boo a guy for leaving a team for more money, then you should cheer him when he leaves for less money and his ‘best chance to win’”. Huh? What? That makes no sense at all. Are those the only two options?!

By the way, Allen wasn’t above foregoing his principle for cash. He reportedly tried to hold the Celtics up for a 3-year, 27-million dollar contract. The Celtics offer was double the Heats, but Ray would have been a loyal Celtic for triple the cash.

There are hundreds of ways a player could leave a team. Most of them are acceptable, but a few of them turn that player into a traitor. Leaving for your teams main rival makes you a traitor. Leaving for less money makes you a traitor. Leaving to join a team that has just knocked your team out of the playoffs (in a closely contested 7-game series), makes you a traitor!

Ray Allen has left our foxhole, where we fought side-by-side and back-to-back. Today he is in our enemies fox hole, focusing his cross hairs on his former teammates, coaches, town, and fans.

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