Ray Allen will enter the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame this coming weekend in what will be a celebration of a remarkable career that includes 10 All-Star appearances, two championships and the NBA’s career record for successful 3-pointers. It is a time when teammates and rivals come together to recognize one of the game’s all-time greats. Heck, Allen is even having Reggie Miller — someone with whom he has “a love-hate relationship” and who “you wanted to root against” — present him at his induction.
But there is at least one former teammate and fellow future Hall of Famer who Allen does not expect to join the celebration, and you might have already guessed his name rhymes with Devin Barnett.
While Allen says he has reconciled his relationship with 2008 Finals MVP Paul Pierce, he does not believe he will talk to or receive a congratulatory message from any of his marquee teammates on the Celtics title team, such as Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.
“No, I don’t expect to,” Allen said.
After five seasons with the Boston Celtics, the last few of which included countless trade rumors involving his name, Allen reportedly turned down a two-year, $12 million offer from Boston that included a no-trade clause in favor of a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the Miami Heat, who had just eliminated the Celtics in a combative seven-game Eastern Conference finals series in 2012.
Some Celtics have never forgiven Allen for what Garnett, Rondo and Pierce respectively describe as disloyalty, traitorousness and “betrayal.” In the immediate aftermath of Allen’s free-agent decision, Garnett said he lost Allen’s number and completely ignored his ex-teammate in the season opener.
In the years since, Garnett hosted a handful of members of the 2008 championship Celtics team to publicly bash Allen on his “Area 21” segment for TNT, and that team voted to exclude him from a cruise to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their title victory. Even in retirement, many of them can’t let it go.
There is hope that this strange storyline comes to an end someday. Allen and Pierce apparently buried the hatchet after crossing paths in China last year, even though Allen was a no-show at Pierce’s jersey retirement this past February. Allen did eventually congratulate Pierce on getting his No. 34 retired in Boston on Instagram two days later. A congratulatory call to Allen from Garnett may take a bit longer.
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