Rondo, other Celtics excluding Ray Allen from plans to celebrate 2008 NBA title
Things didn't end well between Allen and his former teammates
After Boston put together its “Big Three” -- Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen -- and won the title in 2008, teams have tried their best to emulate the formula. The Heat became the most famous example, when LeBron James and Chris Bosh, both in the prime of their careers, elected to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. It clearly worked, as the trio led Miami to two titles and four Finals appearances in their four seasons together.
LeBron then left to form another Big Three in Cleveland with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, which has also led to a title in two Finals appearances. The Clippers locked up their Big Three with Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, while the Warriors put together an unprecedented Big Four by adding Kevin Durant to the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
But even though the 2008 Celtics may have inadvertently started the trend, they’re not fans of players leaving a team to join its rival.
Rajon Rondo, the former Celtics point guard now with the Bulls, is planning a vacation with his teammates from the championship team to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their title, but there will be one notable absence -- Ray Allen isn’t invited.
“I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake,” Rondo said of Allen, who famously left the Celtics in 2012 to join the Big Three in Miami. “It will be a long story about that, but it is what it is. I don’t know a good analogy to put this in. It just wasn’t the greatest separation. It wasn’t the greatest thing that could’ve happened to us as a team, a bond. We were at war with those guys [Miami]. To go with the enemy, that’s unheard-of in sports. Well, it’s not so unheard of. It’s damn near common now.
“The mindset we had. The guys on our team. You wouldn’t do anything like that. It makes you question that series in the Finals … Who were you for? You didn’t bleed green. People think we had a messed-up relationship. It’s not the greatest. But it’s not just me. I called and reached out to a couple of other vets and asked them what they wanted to do with the situation. They told me to stick with what we got [without Allen].”
Allen was reportedly offered a two-year, $12 million contract to stay with the Celtics in 2012, but chose instead to sign with the Heat for three years and $9.5 million. According to the story, Allen has been estranged from Rondo, Pierce and Garnett since he left Boston.
In the current “AAU buddy” climate where NBA players on different teams are best friends off the court, it’s strange to see a vendetta being held onto as strongly as this one. Then again, it’s hard to imagine Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant burying the hatchet for a charity event 10 years from now.
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