The ’08 Celtics vs. Ray Allen Divide: Who’s In The Right?
By: Alex Marcheschi
Last night on KG’s Area 21, the core group of the 2008 Championship Celtics, minus Ray Allen, came together to discuss roundball and honor Paul Pierce. It was hugely entertaining as they talked about everything from how good the Pelicans would be with the addition of John Wall, to Big Baby Davis sneaking two dinners in training camp, to their relationship with Ray Allen. Personally, my favorite moment was when they talked about how Rondo and Doc used to get into it, which led to Perk telling Rondo “Doc was about to put them hands on you”:
However, the story that made national news was the absence of Ray Allen from the show. For those who don’t know, Ray Allen left the Celtics for the super team Heat in 2012. While with the Heat, he hit the arguable biggest three in the history of basketball and saved LeBron’s career.
The Celtics, though, had a big problem with his decision because they felt as though they were a band of brothers, and Ray allegedly left for the rivals without telling anyone. That didn’t sit well with the likes of KG, The Truth, Perk, Big Baby and Rondo. Why? Because they’re OGs in the truest sense of the term. They simply don’t make ’em like these guys anymore. Paul Pierce has been stabbed 11 times and had a bottle smashed over his head and he still wets jumpers. KG talks shit by insulting cancer patients and making jokes about dead mothers. Rondo is an assassin and Perk spent years as the most feared man in the league. Big Baby, well, no one really knows what the deal with Big Baby is.
A picture of the ’08 Celtics could be on the SAT with the question, “which one of these players is not like the others?”, and the answer would be Ray Allen. Ray is a tactician, the best shooter of all time, a true master of his craft. He’s an extremely calculated guy who simply operates on a different spectrum of values than Pierce and KG do. Ray saw an opportunity to go play with some more of the best basketball players of all time, and he took it. It paid off huge, he cemented himself as a legend. Basketball is strictly business to Ray Allen and that’s what sets him apart from the guys who were on Area 21 last night. To KG, Pierce, Perk and Rondo, basketball is war. It’s a brotherhood with trust at the center of the operation, and they feel as if Ray Allen violated their trust.
They all said they still respect Ray when the cameras were on, but this small clip of KG makes me feel as if they were lying for the camera:
Perkins said that it’s on Ray to make the initial call to break the ice, and whether that’s true or not is up for debate. Personally, I don’t think Ray Allen cares about settling things with these guys. They’ve ran his name through the mud many times and he would’ve said something by now if he wanted to. Ray Allen has been exposed to the mafia-esque Pat Riley school of basketball relations, and something tells me these guys are all dead to Ray. Rondo remained largely silent on the topic all night, until KG basically peer pressured him into talking. Rondo said he would call Ray if they all want him to, but again, it felt like it was for the cameras.
What it boils down to is this: KG, Pierce, Perk and Baby feel justified in their hate of Ray because they truly believe he betrayed them. Therefore, in their mind, it’s on Ray to call and apologize. However, in Ray’s mind, he did nothing wrong as he simply took the best business opportunity for himself and his family. So, Ray believes they should all call him and apologize for talking smack about a guy who simply made the best business decision that was on the table. The result of that decision was great for Allen. He posted this on Facebook this morning:
To Rondo, the past is the past and the Ray Allen situation has been in his rear-view mirror for a long time now. I’m surprised he even showed up last night, it was probably out of respect for Paul. Rondo is a true “snitches get stitches” type of guy, he doesn’t like to gossip. I almost feel like Rondo and Ray are probably the two most similar guys out of all those Celtics, and that’s why they butted heads the most, just like how best friends who room together in college usually fight and people who marry someone extremely similar to themselves often get divorced.
KG and Pierce are a dying breed. To them, it’s not a business, it’s a brotherhood. If you cross them, they wipe you off the face of the earth. In today’s NBA landscape, basketball is a business and you take the best opportunity you can find. LeBron did it, Ray did it, Durant did it, hell Steve Nash even did it. KG and Pierce are the old, stubborn uncles of the NBA and everything that has occurred after their primes is candy-ass. At the heart of it all, I think they’re most offended that Ray properly assessed the situation and correctly smelled the death stank on their bodies. Like Bill Belichik handled players like Richard Seymour and Wes Welker, Ray saw that KG and Paul were washed before they even did and he opted for LBJ and D Wade instead. He upgraded, and like salty exes, KG and Pierce were jealous of his new lovers.
So, to answer my own question of who’s in the right here, I don’t think anyone is, and that’s why life can be so frustrating. A person cannot truly manipulate reality, they can only manipulate themselves. Only when a man changes himself can he change reality. There is no spoon.