Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce aren’t with the Boston Celtics any more, but it still feels as if that pair are Celtics for life, even if they do work for the Brooklyn Nets right now. As such, the duo still holds a grudge, refusing to acknowledge that the free agent fleeing of former teammate Ray Allen in the summer of 2012 could possibly resemble the 2013 trade that deal KG and Pierce to Brooklyn. It’s not the same thing, they swear.
Allen doesn’t agree. And he certainly doesn’t understand why Garnett and Pierce remain so cold and hostile to their one-time teammate, a full year after the showy non-embrace Allen and the Celtics made to start 2012-13. In talking with the Boston Herald before Boston’s shocking defeat of the Miami Heat from Sunday, Allen detailed the distance:
“They haven’t spoken to me,” Allen said before last night’s game against what remained of his former team. Allen played 24 minutes and had five points with three assists as the Celtics stunned the defending champion Heat, 111-110.
“Look, I have a feeling they were in the same predicament I was in this summer. Even with Doc (Rivers), he had to make a decision that was best for himself. I was in the same situation. I’m happy they were put into the same situation as I was. Anytime you get traded there’s no telling where you could end up. They’re in a situation now where they can contend. Kevin had to make that decision, and that was the predicament I was in.”
That’s why, at the time, Allen felt he was persecuted for his decision.
“I did think that,” he said. “But I was curious to see how it was received in the NBA and the people in Boston. In my opinion it was the same scenario. I wasn’t upset with any of those guys, because it was their right. You have to make the choices you feel are best for your situation. That’s why I was so disappointed in the reaction to me, because those guys know what it takes.”
As Allen hints at, this is all a bit silly. For Garnett and Pierce to act like Allen terribly wronged them by jumping to the Heat is ridiculous. It was a surprise when the Celtics made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Because though the C’s looked like favorites at times in that series while LeBron James was still figuring himself out, any NBA analyst worth their salt knew that time was running out on Boston’s Big Three. Especially with point guard Rajon Rondo, rumored to have a chilly relationship with Allen, becoming a more prominent part of the lineup.
So Allen jumped to a team that he could win another title with, coming off the bench for Miami and contributing to the franchise’s 2013 championship in startling fashion.
Listen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce removed any right to complain about Ray Allen’s move to Miami the second that KG waived his no trade clause to be dealt to Brooklyn, and the moment Pierce decided to remain an active player and not retire a Celtic. Brushing off the technical “trade” part of things is wrongheaded and daft, because Garnett and Pierce were in charge. Had they wanted to stay in Boston, or retire as Celtics, they had myriad different ways to do so.
Is it a bit unseemly for Allen to bolt for Miami, joining the champs that had just barely bested Boston in a Game 7 back in 2012? Sure. But Garnett and Pierce know better than anyone that winning is fun, and it takes real cojones for anyone to slam a guy for choosing to play for a team that makes him happy. And it isn’t as if Allen was a Celtic for life himself – he only played five seasons in the town, and though he’s hardly what we’d call a journeyman, Allen joined his fifth technical team when he decided to become a Miami Heat.
So Kevin Garnett still doesn’t have Allen’s number. Great. Let’s try to link up at some point, though, guys. You have more in common than you think.
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