In the end, it doesn't matter why Ray Allen's here, certainly not as much as where he will be – behind the line, spotting up, waiting to rise up and knock down shots for the Heat rather than for someone else. It doesn't matter if his decision was more a consequence of the Celtics driving him away or Pat Riley making the Heat feel like home. All that ultimately matters for Miami is whether Allen can make good on Riley's guarantee that, so deep into his 30s, he can still connect from deep at a 45 percent clip.

"There are only a handful of players in this league that absolutely strike fear into their opponent, and Ray is one of them," said Erik Spoelstra, Allen's new coach. "In clutch moments in particular."

So, yes, this was a celebratory moment for the Heat, the addition of a useful piece to a championship core.

Still, it was nearly impossible to observe Wednesday's post-signing proceedings, and not find the circumstances of Allen's New England exit more compelling than anything related to his South Florida entrance. The last time Allen had addressed the media inside AmericanAirlines Arena, it came following a crying spell in the Celtics locker room, where the end of an unexpected playoff run had left him overcome with "a sense of letdown." He said then that he wasn't sure whether he would wear that jersey – that Boston No. 20 – again, not as he entered the uncertainty of a free agent summer.