Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Allen, Simmons, Russell

The Celtics‘ decision to trade Isaiah Thomas is drawing anger from some former players on social media, relays Andrew Joseph of USA Today. Caron Butler blasted the deal on Instagram, saying “Celtics traded a guy who played in a game for them a day after his sister died, but y’all expect players to be loyal to the franchise, sure.”

Butler’s post drew a response from ex-Celtic Ray Allen, who alienated many teammates in 2012 when he signed with the Heat. The bitter feelings still linger, as Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce excluded Allen from a Celtics reunion in May. “But since the team does it I guess it’s just business,” Allen wrote in response to Butler’s post. “Smh!! It is just a business so when the teams do it there’s no difference when the players do it!!”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Thomas family is taking a different approach to the deal, tweets Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Thomas’ father, James, offered thanks to the Celtics for the opportunities they gave Isaiah. “There were good times in Boston,” he said. “They were good to us. They gave my son a chance to play in the NBA. It’s nothing against them. I have only good things to say. I can’t cut them. Hey, every starter that was there this year is gone except one. Maybe they did what was best for Boston, or at least they think they did.”
  • After missing all of last season while recovering from a broken foot, the Sixers‘ Ben Simmons has been medically cleared for basketball activities, according to Tom Moore of GateHouse Media (Twitter link). The first overall pick in 2016 reportedly participated in a recent pickup game in Australia.
  • After moving from the Lakers to the Nets in an offseason trade, D’Angelo Russell has bigger goals than just helping Brooklyn improve after a 20-win season, writes Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily“I want teams to hate us,” Russell said. “We’ve struggled over the last few years in Brooklyn. Teams are used to coming in and taking nights off. I just want to rebuild that and make it a place where people come and say, ‘alright we got the crowd against us. It’s New York.’”
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18 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Thomas, Allen, Simmons, Russell

  1. Boston2AZ

    NO ONE in Boston criticized Butler for taking his deal in Portland. Allen has had a grudge against Boston for years. Maybe it’ll get repaired, maybe it won’t, but I didn’t blame him for leaving either. I’m not denying that it was difficult to see IT go, but they thought it would make them better and that’s the responsibility of the team management and owners. Butler – and Allen, for that matter – should just zip it.

    • Table

      The point is, fans and media are hypocritical. They criticize players that do what’s best for them if it hurts a team, but don’t even notice when a team does whats best for them that hurts a player. Loyalty is a myth

      • Reflect

        That’s not hypocritical at all. And how does trading IT hurt him? He’s still making the same money and playing in the same league.

      • jak9dmb

        fans are loyal to their team, they want players to be loyal, too. but they aren’t, and owners are only loyal to fans who fork over enough cash (ask Sonics fans)

    • LordBanana

      Why should they zip it, they are right. Why do only players have to be loyal?
      Ray was called unloyal for leaving but if he had been traded no one would have called the Celtics unloyal.

  2. mafiaso316

    F@$k Ray Allen,,,,plus we all know that professional sports is just a business now,,,teams are going to do what is best for the interest of the organization first before the interest of the player

    • Outlaws12

      And the players are going to do what’s best for the players. What’s your point?

    • jellbuc

      What do you think it was before? Sports have always been a business, when the sox traded Ruth in 1919 you think they did it for some reason other then business. I hat to burst your bubble but whoever you work for is a business too and if they have an option that’s a better fit for them they will replace you too.

  3. Reflect

    Isiah Thomas is a pending free agent who vocally wanted a contact the Celtics weren’t going to offer (and that he isn’t worth). He had no future in Boston so it made sense to trade him.

    It’s just like a relationship. Ending it for a stupid reason makes you look bad, no matter which side you’re on. In this case though, Boston had a good reason.

    People who compare that trade to Ray Allen or Kevin Durant clearly don’t understand context.

    • triumph13

      Agree it made sense to trade him – business decision based on teams needs (here they didn’t need drama of his expecting a max deal after the season).
      But just the same as business decision players make based on their own needs (Durant leaving OKC because he realizes they don’t have a legit shot at a championship).

  4. triumph13

    Both guys are correct… it’s a business. Teams and players do what they think is best for themselves. In two years Kyrie will decide whether it’s worth accepting less money to leave Boston. If he leaves, how can you blame him? Maybe another team gives him a better chance to win- or maybe he simply wants to play elsewhere with a different supporting cast for reasons only he will know.
    Of all the star players who have decided to leave their teams- Durant sticks out to me as the one that was the toughest to understand. Not for his leaving OKC but because of the team he signed with. GS were the favorites to win another championship BEFORE he got there. Thats a team lesser players may want to go, because they want to play for a team that has the best chance to win it all. But not a superstar- Superstar players go to another team hoping they can be the man to get that team over the hump, to be that piece that makes them a contender. Or I guess that’s how I thought it was supposed to be.
    Either way, he had his reasons- he wanted to win a championship and he got one. Does take a little away from his legacy though IMO.

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