Despite bad blood, Ray Allen says Boston was the "most important time in my life"

One of the newest inductees to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is five-time Celtic and one of the all-time great shooters, Ray Allen. After a career that spanned two decades and included nearly 3,000 three-pointers, the 43-year-old deserving joined the most elite NBA company.

While Allen had a storied career, it hasn't all been a bed of roses. The falling out of the Big Three was substantial enough to have carried on for years. The iconic core that made up the 2008 championship Celtics have never been the same since Allen left Boston to take his talent to South Beach, and none of his former Celtics teammates have even contacted him about his Hall of Fame induction:

If you remember from Paul Pierce's retirement ceremony, not only had Allen not gone (like Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo, among others), but he posted an Instagram picture from a golf course the same day congratulating George Lopez on a hole in one. That being said, Allen still ended up reaching out to Pierce, who he made peace with last year, so it's a bit surprising to see that everyone is "ghosting" him even as he is honored with the biggest achievement of his hoop career.

Ray understands the hard feelings from Celtics fans:

"I do understand the angst people have toward me, is because they loved it so much," Allen said. "Because I was a part of that community, and I was a part of everything they did and part of winning. But like we all know, it becomes such a business that we ultimately have to decide when it's time to fold up your tent, you have to move on. There's so many different factors in play. It is an interesting dichotomy between Connecticut and Boston. I love both places and New England -- I'm a New Englander, I appreciate being in both environments."

Despite the anger towards him, the two-time NBA Champion still looks fondly of Boston. The winning environment was a refreshing sight for him, making his time with the Celtics the most important in his life:

"People look at how I left, but I look at how I lived while I was there," Allen said. "That to me was the most important time in my life, because I had never won. That's probably the most important thing I want people to remember is the time we spent together...the people who appreciate what I've done, I always feel so much love from Boston."

Strong words for a guy that left town to join LeBron James and the top Eastern Conference rival! Looking back though, Allen noted how the culture of Boston and the history of the Celtics put a lot of pressure on the team to be successful once the Big Three was assembled. He had never realized how hard it was to win a title:

"In '08, the pressure was tremendous because people thought we were going to win," Allen said. "People picked us. We led wire to wire, so every loss we had seemed insurmountable. We felt like it was the low of all lows."

Allen, one of the 13 newest Hall of Fame inductees, will remember Boston for the highs rather than the lows despite his nonexistent relationships with old Celtics teammates.

Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via AP Photo/Jessica Hill