Rajon Rondo is planning a big party to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA title, and one prominent member of the team is not invited.
Sorry, Ray Allen.
Rondo told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears that he is putting together a vacation with his former Celtics teammates, and the consensus from the 2008 squad was to not reach out to Allen.
“I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake,” Rondo said.
Allen and Kevin Garnett came to Boston via trade during the 2007 offseason and joined Rondo and Paul Pierce in leading the team to its first NBA championship in 22 years. The team also reached the NBA Finals in 2010, ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the summer of 2012, Allen took less money to join LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. One of the reported reasons was that he wasn’t getting along with Rondo. Allen helped the Heat win one of their two titles with LeBron in 2013.
“It will be a long story about that, but it is what it is,” Rondo said. “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].”
For what it’s worth, Leon Powe — a role player with the 2008 Celtics — said his “preference” would be that Allen is invited. Another anonymous member of the team said he has no problem with Allen’s exclusion because “(Ray) left to the enemy.”
It is somewhat surprising that Rondo and some of his former teammates aren’t ready to bury the hatchet with Allen. You knew when Garnett made remarks like this years ago that Allen was persona non grata for a while, but typically time heals all wounds. Apparently not in this case.