It was a 2008 champion Celtics reunion in Area 21 Monday night. During the TNT broadcast of Golden State closing out the Utah Jazz, they would go at times to Kevin Garnett’s player’s lounge area where he got the gang back together: Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, “Big Baby” Glen Davis, and even Doc Rivers dropped in to reminisce.
But no Ray Allen.
Allen was part of the big three that won a ring in 2008, but there is still bad blood about his exit from the Celtics to LeBron James‘ Miami Heat in 2012, the Celtics’ chief rival in the East at the time. The players were open and honest about it. Here are some quotes from an online segment where the group talked about Allen.
“I was initially hurt by the whole way everything went down…” Pierce said. “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.”
“I just feel like, it ain’t what Ray did, it’s how he did it,” Perkins added. “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 team those Celtics saw as a rival), I just think he could have handled it a different way.”
“Everybody’s asking us, ‘Where’s Ray?’ People don’t understand that this is real life for us,” Garnett said about him not inviting Allen. “The situation with Ray is very sensitive. I think that when we all talked about doing this reunion tour, we were talking about guys who we consider loyal and part of this group. Just being honest, my two cents, when Ray decided to go to the Heat, I felt like he moved on.”
Perkins went on to say it’s up to Allen to change the dynamic with his former Celtics teammates, he would have to reach out and start the process.
The question is, does Allen really want to? He got another ring and enjoyed his Miami experience, he may well have moved on.