When the Celtics retired his number, Paul Pierce said Kevin Garnett would be next.
When the Celtics retired his number, Garnett called on Boston to make Ray Allen next.
Garnett – who reconnected with Allen after a longstanding feud – singled out Allen during his ceremony yesterday and said, “You next.” After Garnett, Allen and Pierce shared a hug, Garnett yelled, “Ray next, dammit!”
For a franchise as storied as the Celtics, retiring even Garnett’s number looked like a dicey call. He played just six seasons with Boston.
Allen played only five seasons for the Celtics – fewer than anyone whose number Boston has retired:
Allen was central to Boston’s 2008 championship and made three All-Star teams with the Celtics.
But Garnett meant even more to the 2008 title and made five All-Star teams and an All-NBA first team with Boston. Again, Garnett looked like a close call.
If retiring Allen’s number, why not Rajon Rondo? Rondo was also a good starter in 2008, and he made four All-Star teams and an All-NBA third team in nine seasons with the Celtics.
Maybe Boston will retire Allen’s number and Rondo’s. Pierce’s declaration might have contributed to Garnett getting honored. Perhaps, Garnett’s urging will lead to Allen getting his day. It’s on the Celtics to set their own line for jersey retirement.
But Allen’s number is not an overwhelmingly obvious inclusion into the Boston rafters.