For Ray Allen, the renewal of the Boston-Miami rivalry must have been an out-of-body experience.

At certain surreal moments Tuesday night, he must have observed himself wearing a burning red basketball on his jersey instead of a green shamrock and wondered, "Where am I?"

He was the object of Kevin Garnett's snarls rather than beneficiary.

He fed an assist to Chris Bosh, patted the shoulder of Dwyane Wade, started a fast break for LeBron James — aiding his former sworn enemies.

He was fouled by Paul Pierce, the mate who used to have his back in bruising battles against the Heat.

He watched the NBA championship banner-raising ceremony of the team that crushed his own championship aspirations.

What was he supposed to do in such a situation? Celebrate or congratulate?

Miami's 120-107 victory over the Celtics in the season opener for both teams turned Allen's emotions inside out. It was his first game in a Heat uniform, against the team to which he devoted five memorable years, on the very court where he played his final game as a Celtic, in a bitter Game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference finals.

Allen insisted there was "nothing personal" about the latest chapter in what has become the NBA's most interesting grudge soap opera. Once the ball goes up, the goal is clinically straightforward: Beat the opponent.

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