Ainge says Celtics did want Ray Allen back

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday that he wasn’t surprised by Ray Allen’s decision to sign with the rival Miami Heat, but stressed that Boston wanted the veteran sharpshooter back and that it was ultimately Allen’s decision to depart.

“I don’t feel like we lost Ray; I feel like Ray left us to go to Miami,” said Ainge. “We appreciate all that Ray’s done, and all that him and (Allen’s wife) Shannon have done in our community. We tried to get Ray back; he chose to go to Miami.”

Speaking publicly on Allen for the first time since the soon-to-be 37-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Heat on Wednesday — accepting half the yearly salary that Boston was offering in the process — Ainge expressed gratitude for Allen’s contributions to the Celtics the last five years, but seemed slightly stung by Allen’s decision to jump ship amid Boston’s efforts to put back all the major pieces from last season.

– Reported by Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston