Heat captain Udonis Haslem isn’t looking to restart an old war with the Boston Celtics.
He just doesn’t understand why they’re still holding a grudge toward Ray Allen and are not inviting him back to be a part of the 2008 championship team’s 10-year anniversary party.
Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo, a young member of that Celtics championship squad, said as much to ESPN’s The Undefeated recently, adding that Allen’s decision to leave Boston and sign with the Heat, the Celtics’ bitter rival at the height of the rivalry, was basically a betrayal.
Rondo told The Undefeated when he asked Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and other members of that Celtics team if they should invite Allen back to be a part of a players’ vacation he and others were planning they all said “No.”
“I mean I just shook my head,” Haslem said. “I don’t know. Didn’t we beat them the year before [he came to us] with Ray? Who are they not going to invite for that one?
“We don’t roll like that. They’ve got to get over that. It is what it is. Ray came over. We were fortunate enough to get him. He’s a great player. We won a championship. The past is the past.
“I understand when you feel like somebody wasn’t loyal to you. It’s kind of hard to get over. But you know you can’t be mad at Ray man. Ray is a great guy, a great teammate and he gave his heart and soul to those guys.”
When Allen left Boston and joined the Heat in July 2012, the Heat were coming off a championship victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. He turned down a two-year, $12 million deal from the Celtics for a three-year, $9.5 million with the Heat.
He then hit arguably the biggest shot in Heat history in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs and the Heat went on to win back-to-back championships.
Could coach Erik Spoelstra ever envision a situation where the Heat wouldn’t invite a member of a championship team back for a celebration? Like say LeBron James?
“Hey, I have no idea what that locker room was like,” Spoelstra said of the Celtics. “I don’t know.”
Then, Spoelstra smiled and joked: “We’ll probably do a reunion years from now and our team will band together to make sure I’m not invited.”