Where’s Ray Allen? 2008 Celtics say that’s a sensitive subject
On Monday night Kevin Garnett was joined on his TNT television segment, “Area 21,” by former Celtics teammates Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis, and Kendrick Perkins. But Ray Allen, a primary member of the 2007-08 NBA title team, was not in attendance.
There has been an ongoing rift between Allen and his former teammates since Allen decided to team up with LeBron James and sign with the Miami Heat in 2012. In March, Rondo said the title team was organizing a reunion this summer and that Allen would not be invited.
“Everybody’s asking us, ‘Where’s Ray?’ People don’t understand this is real life for us, and the situation with Ray is very sensitive,” Garnett said at the start of the segment. “I think when we all talked about doing this reunion tour, we talked about guys we consider loyal and part of this group. Just being honest, my two cents, man, when Ray decided to go to the Heat, I felt like he moved on. And he went to pursue another ring, and he got another ring. Shout out to him. And that’s it.”
Pierce said he was not angry that Allen left; he was angry that he left with no warning. That Celtics group thought they had an inextricable bond — and then they did not.
“I was initially hurt by the whole way everything went down,” Pierce said. “Like, I don’t have no beef with none of my teammates or nothing. I was just hurt by how it went down.”
Pierce said that the team had formed a brotherhood, and that if he or Garnett were considering leaving, they would have talked to the others about it first. Pierce said that Allen’s relationship with Doc Rivers was souring at the time, because Avery Bradley had begun to receive some of Allen’s playing time. But Pierce thought Allen’s relationship with the others was strong.
“I just felt like we should have had a conversation and then it would have settled over a little bit more,” he said. “I don’t think we would have been as salty . . . Now, it’s uncomfortable. I haven’t talked to Ray in some years now and it’s just, it’s different.”
Perkins echoed Pierce’s sentiment, saying that the way Allen left was most disappointing. But he left the door open for reconciliation.
“At the end of the day I feel like time heals all wounds,” Perkins said. “At the end of the day, you never know. Sometimes all it takes is for you to see your brother on the pass-by. You never know.”
Perkins said he did not think that any of the other former Celtics should feel responsible to initiate that conversation, however.
“I actually think it’s on Ray to break the ice,” he said. “If Ray wants to make amends with anybody up here or whatever the case, I think it’s on him to reach out.”