When news broke of 2007-08 Boston Celtics stars celebrating their championship without Ray Allen, the reasoning was simple: Allen left to join the Heat in 2012, months after Miami defeated the Celtics in seven games on their way to the title. Rajon Rondo called it “going to the enemy.” Paul Pierce called it a “betrayal.”
Two months later, the same story has resurfaced. And nothing has changed.
During an “Area 21” segment as part of TNT’s NBA playoff coverage Monday night, Kevin Garnett hosted Rondo, Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis. The former Celtics all echoed earlier comments. The excerpt below is from an ESPN article:
"I just feel like, it ain't what Ray did, it's how he did it," said Perkins. "We did form a family. We all shed tears together, talked about some of the deepest things -- I'm talking about outside of basketball that the world don't know about. If you felt like you wanted to go that way and [sign with a rival], I just think he could have handled it a different way."
Added Pierce: "I was initially hurt by the whole way everything went down. ... I thought we formed a brotherhood here in Boston. Just how we carried ourselves, not only on the court, but off the court. And I just figured if it was me leaving or KG leaving, then I would have been like, 'Rondo, Perk, Baby, this is what I've been thinking about.' That's what I was hurt by when Ray didn't just at least give us a heads-up about it."
“It was more than basketball for us… It felt like a sour breakup.”— KG's Area 21 (@KGArea21) May 9, 2017
Pierce, KG, Rondo, Big Baby & Perk share their thoughts on Ray Allen. pic.twitter.com/8JYRWmxm0i
In a bit of news to thicken the plot, Allen’s verified Facebook page posted a a picture of him colliding with Rajon Rondo and caption, “The power to push limits.” But Allen’s publicist told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that his account was hacked, and Facebook unverified the page.
Ray Allen's publicist now tells me Ray's verified Facebook page was hacked, that he didn't post Celtics-clapback pic. FB unverified the page https://t.co/ELMW5fx4u0— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 9, 2017
My unsolicited advice to Allen’s former teammates? Grow up.
If it was really about a brotherhood, then they should have all been enraged when the Celtics nearly traded Allen before the 2012 trade deadline. Or they should have also been infuriated about the breakup of the brotherhood when the Celtics explored trading Allen in 2009.
Allen felt disrespected by the Celtics management — to say nothing of an acrimonious relationship with Rajon Rondo that reportedly included players having to separate the two in the locker room — and he decided to sign with the Heat. Maybe giving others a “head’s up” isn’t on someone’s mind when they don’t feel valued by their peers or superiors.
Beyond that, a mature person would reach out to Allen. That move to Miami was five years ago and makes much more sense in light of the Celtics’ repeated moves to put Allen on the trading block. (Also, he won another ring, which probably wouldn’t have happened had he stayed in Boston.) That 2008 Celtics team wouldn’t have won a championship without Allen, so celebrating a championship without him is childish.
We’ll see if anything else happens. I imagine Allen will continue to spend his time on pursuits that actually matter, like his work to raise awareness about the Holocaust.