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Top Stories of 2012, No. 7: Ray Allen leaves Celtics for South Beach 12.27.12 at 6:42 pm ET
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Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from the Celtics.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination

Heat owner Micky Arison first published the news of Ray Allen‘€™s departure from the Celtics on Twitter, signaling the official end of the Big Three era in Boston.

Its 2:30am in London and I was just woken up with great news.Welcome to the family #20!!

‘€” Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 7, 2012

Allen made the choice to head south to Miami for around half the annual salary the Celtics were offering. In Miami, Allen would have the chance to play with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while making a fresh start with a new team. Allen signed a three-year, $9.7 million deal in July.

Reports that Allen was unhappy in Boston began to surface. There was an apparent rift between Allen and mercurial point guard Rajon Rondo, and Allen was said to be unhappy with a lack of respect from management. A Yahoo! Sports report quoted a source as saying: “He felt he was getting respect [from the Heat] that he hadn’€™t gotten from [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] and [coach] Doc [Rivers] anymore. ‘€¦ The [Heat] presentation was incredible.”

Ainge had placed Allen on the trading block in February in hopes that the C’€™s could get a younger player. And a deal with the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo apparently was so close to being done that Rivers contacted Allen to let him know. That didn’t sit well with Allen.

Then Rivers inserted Avery Bradley, favoring his defensive tact over Allen’€™s 3-point shooting ability, into the starting lineup. Allen only started in the Eastern Conference finals because Bradley was out with a shoulder injury.

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Read More: 2012 Stories of the Year, Avery Bradley, Danny Ainge, doc rivers