Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics in 2012 to sign a discounted deal for a chance to win an NBA championship with the rival Miami Heat.
His former teammates have yet to forgive him for it.
On Monday night, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, coach Doc Rivers and Glen Davis held a reunion of sorts on Garnett’s ‘Area 21’ on NBA.com and spoke about the rift with Allen and his inclusion in events surrounding Boston’s 2008 title.
“I thought we formed a brotherhood here in Boston,” Pierce said. “We hated Miami. They were our rival, LeBron and all them.
“If we all just would have talked about it, it would have been different now. Now, it’s just uncomfortable. I haven’t talked to Ray in years now.”
In June of 2012 — weeks after the Heat knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs — Allen took less money than Boston offered to join James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
A year later, Allen’s clutch 3-pointer from the corner in the final seconds helped the Miami Heat stay alive in Game 6 of the NBA Finals before beating the Spurs in 7 for the franchise’s third championship.
“It ain't what Ray did, it's how he did it and that’s what caused the problem,” Perkins said.
“We did form a family. We all shed tears together ... I just think he could have handled it a different way.”
On Tuesday, Allen responded a bit on his Facebook page by posting a picture of him battling Rondo while with the Heat with the caption: “The power to push limits.”
On the ‘Area 21’ segment on TNT on Monday night, Garnett said he wished his former teammate well.
“I would like to think that as we grow and progress, time heals all wounds,” Garnett said.
“We’ll see. We have no ill will toward Ray; shout to Ray and his family, shout to him to his new restaurant in all its glory.”
Perkins doesn’t seem to be as welcoming, saying if Allen wants to make peace with his old teammates, he’s going to have to make the first move and apologize for “handling this wrong.”
“It’s on him to reach out,” Perkins said.
“He’s the one who caused the conflict and the confusion.”
Pierce said “we all decided when we mend the fences, Rondo is going to make the call.”
Said Rondo: “I don’t know what call y’all want me to make.”