Last night, in Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” the key members of Boston’s 2008 championship title team met up for a 10 year reunion. Players present included Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and even “Big Baby” Glen Davis. Coach Doc Rivers talked through video chat and the team shouted out the members that couldn’t attend. However, there was one key piece that was missing. That piece was the NBA’s all time leading three point scorer. Ray Allen was not present, not by his choice, but by the teams choice to not invite him. Whether it was because they did not want a negative vibe around the reunion, or if there is still hard feelings, the main point is he was not in attendance. It seemed this group of former Celtics wanted nothing to do with him.
Instead of making the whole show awkward, I thought it was good Kevin Garnett came out and addressed the issue right away. Instantly, viewers could tell there was still some built up emotions towards the situation and the players had no problem discussing the decision to move to Miami and ring chase. Garnett and Perkins stated that the main issue wasn’t just Allen changing teams, but the lack of communication between the two sides and no real goodbye. The team admitted they found out about his signing just as everyone else did, through the media. This was really what was hard about the “sour breakup” as Paul Pierce described it.
However, as the four players talked about the Ray Allen breakup, one player was left silent. Ramon Rondo and Ray never seemed to get along after the 2008 championship. Whether it was off the court issues or just not liking the way each other played, there seemed to always be issues. Over the years, Rondo has matured but still has refused to talk about the issues. Watching him sit there in complete silence while the rest of the guys talked about their issues with the move showed that he really was still caught up in the whole situation. The team, especially Rondo took it personal. As they said so many times on the broadcast, the team was a family and Ray completely got up and left them.
From the start, really looking into it, Allen did not fit in that locker room. On the court, he was a great fit providing a dead-eye from beyond the three point line to mix into an offense with Pierce and Garnett. Allen hit many clutch shots in his time with Boston and was the spark the offense needed in many playoff games. However, off the court was a different story. Those starters in the 2008 run all had some sort of grit to them. They all came from humble beginnings, where loyalty of your boys meant everything. All of these guys came up the same way. It was the typical athlete success story for these guys. Growing up without very strong relationships from their parents, forced to build a family and career through basketball. In the eyes of a Rondo or Garnett, basketball is their life and they would die for the game and for their teammates. Allen was never like that. It almost seemed as if he treated basketball like a business. He went after rings and money. Regardless of what you think is the correct way to go about the game, they had two very different personalities. Ray went after what was best for himself and his career, Garnett could have sacrificed a ring to stay with his brothers. They were two completely different personalities that put everything aside to win a championship ten years ago. Looking back on it, the only thing they really had in common was they were both really good at basketball.
There is no doubting that there is no championship without Ray Allen. He was a huge part of the 2008 team and was beloved by all of Boston. But when you go through what these guys have been through in their careers and the brotherhood they formed, to completely grab your things and get up and leave deserves to be criticized. The Celtics team had every right to criticize Ray for the way he handled things, in fact it was surprising it took this long before they opened up about it.