As we all know by now, Ray Allen is - or will be on July 11th - the newest member of the Celtics Eastern Conference rival, the Miami Heat. Before the news became official, I noticed many Celtics fans, (whether it was here on Celticslife, Twitter, Facebook, wherever) were completely bashing Ray and throwing him under the bus. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I believe many of you don't appreciate the things that Ray has done in his time in Boston. Whether it be his community service, or running Boston marathons with his mom, or draining a game winning three in the face of Joakim Noah, I believe most of his work has gone unappreciated by most of us.

(More after the jump)

 I think I will start by going back to the beginning of the Big 3 era, the summer of 2007. If it was not for Allen being traded to Boston, we would've never seen KG in green. As we know, Garnett had no interest whatsoever in joining the Celtics until he knew Allen had came to town. Yep, thats right. No Allen would've meant no Garnett - and no Banner 17 in 2008.

Fast forward to the tailend of the 2008-2009 season. The reigning NBA Champion Celtics are in the 1st round of the playoffs matched up against the Chicago Bulls, and we were without you know who. Ray started this years postseason with a 1-12 FG, 4 point performace in a loss to the Bulls. Ray quickly bounced back and poured his heart into this series, scoring 30, 18, 28, an epic 51, and 23 in games two, three, four, six, and seven respectively. Most of us (well, just about all of us including myself) will say Rondo was our MVP of that years playoffs, but Rays' performances were definitely overlooked by many.

 Jump to the 2011-2012 season, which would be Allens' final season doning a Celtic uniform. During a midseason west coast road trip, Allen rolled his ankle, giving Bradley the green light at a starters position. Ray's ankle worsened throughout the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, but Allen decided to give it a go in Game 3 vs the Hawks. This is where I feel Ray has been unappreciated the most. Allen, playing w/bone spurs in his injured ankle, played in 18 playoff games, even taking his starters spot back due to Bradleys bothersome shoulders. Some Celtics fans complained that Ray wasn't the same when he played, but you can't be upset with Allens' effort and heart. His jumpshot wasn't falling with consistency, he still needed to run his screen marathons to get open looks, he had to guard quicker, younger guards (Andre Iguodala, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson for example) but you never heard any complaints from Ray.

Once the Celtics were eliminated from the 2012 NBA Playoffs, we all witnessed Allens' heartache in his postgame interview following the Game 7 defeat against Miami. Some might say Ray is a backstabber/traitor for joining the Heat, some may say he is still a Celtic. Whatever is said about Ray Allen, I will always appreciate what he has done for the greatest franchise in all of basketball. Thank you, Ray!