“Time to get the band back together”
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have made up. pic.twitter.com/YWON8AZjDV
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 11, 2017
This past weekend, Paul Pierce posted a picture of him and Ray Allen at the Super Penguin All-Star basketball game. In the caption, he suggested that the hatchet should be buried between Ray Allen and former Celtics teammates. If you don’t know what Pierce is referring to, Allen left the Celtics high and dry in free agency for the Miami Heat just a few months after losing to them in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Celtics’ fans and teammates felt both betrayed and disrespected by Allen’s choice to go to South Beach and team up with LeBron. At the time Miami was the Celtics rival and being the up and coming team in the Eastern Conference, they were looking to dethrone the Celtics’ Big 3. Watching him win a championship down there made it even worse.
Since his departure, Allen’s former C’s teammates have completely shut him out of their lives. Just a few months ago there was a get together to celebrate the 2007-08 team that won the Finals. Allen was a huge part of that championship but he wasn’t invited. On Kevin Garnett’s Area 21 program on TNT during the playoffs, he explained why they didn’t invite him:
“It was more than basketball for us… It felt like a sour breakup.”
Pierce, KG, Rondo, Big Baby & Perk share their thoughts on Ray Allen. pic.twitter.com/8JYRWmxm0i
— KG’s Area 21 (@KGArea21) May 9, 2017
Fast forwarding to now, Pierce and Allen seem to have put their differences behind them. But does he really deserve to be forgiven by anyone else?
Ray Allen had many reasons to leave the Celtics. During his last year in Boston, he was beginning to get lost in a 6th man role with Avery Bradley surpassing him in minutes. This caused his relationship with Doc Rivers to go to complete shit. And everyone knows that he and Rondo never really got along because nobody can seem to get along with Rondo.
So maybe he felt he was outgrowing Boston and it was time to move on. That’s completely fine by me. But he could have left on better terms. It was like that championship and all of those years in Boston suddenly meant nothing to him, and he had completely erased it from his memory. As a fan, that hurt a ton. I can’t speak for KG, Pierce, Rondo, but it must have hurt even more for them. They all went to war for each other year in and year out. They won their first title together. They formed a bond that should have never been able to be broken.
It’s coming on five years since Allen decided to leave, and almost all of his former teammates are either out of the league or on their way out. Has enough time passed for him to be accepted as a Celtic again? As much as I hated him for leaving, I want the hatchet to be buried. Watching that championship in 2007 was one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced. It’s a huge reason why I love basketball so much. I just wish the guys that I idolized as a kid didn’t have to hate each other so much.
Written By: Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)