Sunday July 8, 2012

You go away for a week and all heck breaks loose. Some of the events of the last 14 days have had my head spinning. For those of you who know me, that's not good.

It all ended on Friday night when word came down that the Celtics will field a "Big Three" next year. It won't include Ray Allen.

Allen has agreed to a contract with the Miami Heat. That means the original Big Three of Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce is no more. It was a Big Four when you throw point guard Rajon Rondo into the mix.

And if you believe what has been written in many quarters since Friday, Rondo is part of the reason that Allen has taken his talents to South Beach.

Reports have been circulating that Allen lost patience with the mercurial point guard, and that they didn't get along. It has also been reported that Allen was not happy with the Celtics for: 1. Shopping him around at last year's trade deadline; 2. Almost trading him to Memphis; 3. Benching him for Avery Bradley.

Miami may not have shown Ray Allen the money, but the Heat showed him the love he may have felt he wasn't receiving in Boston. And there you go.

I remember when the Celtics acquired Allen from Seattle in 2007. I was at Wahconah Park with Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who was in town watching son Sam play for the Pittsfield Dukes. We talked about the move and agreed that if it was all Danny Ainge was going to do, then it wasn't nearly enough.


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Getting Allen led to getting Kevin Garnett, which led to banner No. 17.

You cannot criticize Ray Allen for leaving Boston. He did what he was brought there to do. Allen was as classy an athlete as any who has worn a uniform with "Boston" on the front of it.

One year, the Celtics played an exhibition game at UMass' Mullins Center and all anyone wanted to talk to Ray Allen about was the UConn-UMass rivalry. He patiently answered questions in a most thoughtful manner.

Based on the moves Ainge has made in the off-season, the Celtics may be better without Ray Allen.

That doesn't mean he won't be missed.

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Rand Pecknold and Paul Pearl didn't want the job, so who will UMass athletic director John McCutcheon get to coach his hockey team?

The Minutemen find themselves in this situation because since Toot Cahoon resigned last month, McCutcheon reportedly offered the job to the aforementioned coaches, and both turned him down.

Hockey is a very popular sport on the Amherst campus and the Minutemen play in Hockey East -- perhaps the best league in the country and home of the national champion Boston College Eagles.

The pressure is mounting on McCutcheon to get a good coach for the coming season. Nobody is standing still in Hockey East.

The league is adding Connecticut. The Huskies will play home games at the XL Center in Hartford in the short term, and the UConn administration is going all in.

That makes it imperative to get the right coach and get one quickly. If there's one thing we know, you can't tread water in big-time college sports.

To reach Howard Herman:
hherman@berkshireeagle.com,
(413) 496-6253.