Sadly, Rajon Rondo left Scot Pollard off the 2008 Celtics invite list, too

Ball Don't Lie
See, Scot Pollard *was* on the Celtics. (AP)
See, Scot Pollard *was* on the Celtics. (AP)

What’s worse — not being invited to the party because they don’t want you there, or because they forgot you existed? It’s the sort of debate you might expect to hear about middle school children.

Except, this question apparently applies to the NBA now, too.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

[Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

Former Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo revealed to The Undefeated on Monday that he’s organizing a 10th-year anniversary vacation this coming summer for his ex-teammates on the Boston Celtics, and everyone is invited, with the exception of Ray Allen, who left the team in free agency to join the Miami Heat in 2012 — a “betrayal” that still irks some members of the 2008 team to this day.

“Everybody else should be there. I’ve actually talked to everyone [else],” Rondo told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “With me going out to every different city, I ran into ‘E-House’ [Eddie House] in Phoenix, I ran into ‘Scal’ [Brian Scalabrine], Leon Powe. The only person I haven’t got in touch with was P.J. Brown. I should be able to find him. I can get in touch with his wife and that is the route I’m going to take with him.

“This is going to an out-of-the-country thing at an undisclosed location. We’re going to get it together, enjoy life, reflect and check on each other. Next year will be the 10-year reunion, but I’m going to do it this summer.”

Scot Pollard’s invitation must’ve gotten lost in the mail. He was a 32-year-old veteran big man on the ’08 Celtics who injured his left ankle in the preseason and gutted through 22 games on it before ultimately rupturing a tendon in it and undergoing season-ending surgery in March of that season.

So, while Rondo thought he invited everyone else besides Allen, he apparently forgot about Pollard:


The Celtics kept Pollard home to rest his surgically repaired left ankle during the stretch run, which might’ve made him more easily forgettable, but he did get a ring for his service, as he reminded inquiring Twitter followers, which must’ve also escaped Rondo’s mind in the party planning process.



To his credit, Pollard didn’t seem all that bent out of shape about not being invited. When the New York Daily News, like many news outlets, picked up the story of Rondo leaving Allen off the invite list, Pollard spotted it and recognized his self-described “caveman’s forehead” in the accompany photo on Twitter and added in a quote-tweet, “Wait. I’m in that picture. Also not invited. How will I live?”


He also responded with a “Haha!” to a couple of Twitter followers who joked that maybe it was all just a surprise party for Pollard, and if not, he should be honored to be included in the same boat as Allen.

Pollard didn’t take Rondo’s snub too personally:


Although, he did take some offense to Rondo’s thought process on a radio appearance in Sacramento:

“First of all, I’m not insulted that I wasn’t invited,” he told KHTK-AM. “Rondo named a couple of guys, but I think his mentality for that, without trying to put words in his mouth, seems to be more directed at the fact that he was not going to invite Ray as opposed to ‘I’ve definitely talked to everyone else on the team.’ And really it was just his choice of words that I took offense to, because he said, ‘I spoke with everyone else, except for P.J. Brown.’

“P.J. Brown was signed to replace me when I had career-ending surgery, and that’s why I was like, ‘OK, you’re trying to get ahold of P.J. Brown; I played more games than P.J. Brown did that year, and I played until my body literally gave out.’ So, it’s not that I wasn’t invited on that trip.

“If he had said, ‘Hey, I talked to a few guys from that team about getting together,’ there’s nothing wrong with that, and honestly — and again, this is not sour grapes, I’m too busy — if Rondo got a hold of me right now and said, ‘Hey, can you make it?’ I would say no, because if I’m leaving the country to go to a beach, I’m certainly not going with those guys. I’m going with my own family. That’s no slight on them, either.

“It’s just that I haven’t spoken to most of them for 10 years, since we were teammates. If it was an official Celtics gathering in Boston, then yeah, but it sounded like Rajon just wanted to get some friends together that he likes from that team. That’s fine. Good luck. Have fun. Enjoy it.”

Well, that took a turn. Pollard did harbor some bitterness about how his Celtics career panned out, since the team declined an option to bring him back for the 2008-09 season after his ankle surgery.

“I got hurt in September and played until February,” the Kansas product told KUsports.com in 2009. “They said I needed surgery. It hurt that they didn’t invite me back for another year. I played hurt all year and then they replaced me. That’s the business, the NBA. It didn’t hurt my feelings, but it would have been nice if they said, ‘Let’s pay him back (for playing hurt) and give the guy an offer.’’’

[Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball: Get in the game and join a league today]

Pollard also underwent surgery on his right ankle during the 2008 offseason, and despite seeking offers for a potential return to the NBA, that well dried up and he never played another game. While he joked on Monday, “I’m available,” he conceded his best prospects for a comeback are in the booth.


No hard feelings, then. As for Rondo’s treatment of Allen, Pollard hopes they can bury the hatchet:

“I’m wondering why the hatred towards Ray,” he told KHTK-AM’s The Drive. “When people become free agents, they can go wherever they want. As you said, it’s a business. I don’t recall Ray specifically saying he didn’t like being in Boston or whatever, other than maybe he just stopped returning phone calls, because they weren’t teammates anymore, and I’m fine with that. I know Ray treated his job just like a business. He was there for Ray and Ray’s family, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, because we’re all independent contractors.

“And that’s how I was. I loved my teammates when I was teammates with them, but there’s only a few guys that I still keep in touch with that were teammates of mine in the NBA. College guys? Yeah. But NBA guys, they’re co-workers. Do you guys call up co-workers from 10 years ago and say, ‘Hey, let’s get together’? No, you don’t. So, it is time, if there’s a beef between the two of them, to grow up and say, ‘Hey, man, we won a championship together. That’s more important than whatever personal beef that you’ve got with me or I’ve got with you.’ Life’s too short to hold a grudge, man. They get heavy.”

On the bright side, Pollard’s non-invite doesn’t appear to be rooted in a grudge. On the other hand, I’m not sure the reason he was left off the list is any less heavy. It’s actually kind of sad in a way.


What say, you, Rondo? I say get Pollard that invite ASAP. I know he said he’d turn down a trip overseas because of his his wife and four children, but let’s not forget he went on Season 32(!) of “Survivor”:


And that was in Cambodia. If this Celtics vacation isn’t more enjoyable than that, then they’ve got bigger problems. As an added bonus, Pollard now has the “Survivor” experience of building alliances, so he might even be able to broker the peace between Rondo and Allen. They need him on that trip.

– – – – – – –

Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next