Ray Allen’s decision to leave the Celtics and take his talents to South Beach had the C’s fans declaring the ex-sharpshooter Boston’s persona non grata. But as Hall-of-Famer himself discovered, they didn’t stop there.
It wasn’t only the Celtics fans. Many of his former teammates – Pierce, Garnett, and Rondo in particular – viewed Allen’s move as a betrayal. And while Ray reportedly buried the hatchet with The Truth, he’s yet to talk to the rest of the guys. But they sure talked about him over the years, all with a collective intent to erase his impact on Boston’s championship run in the ’00s.
Obviously, these guys have kind of removed me from the ‘Big Three,’ said so many negative things about me, and I haven’t had one negative thing to say about any of them. It hurt me over the course of this time just to hear some of the things that have been said.Ray Allen, The Cedric Maxwell Podcast
Very few publicized their peeve for their former teammate to the extent a fraction of Boston’s Big Three did with Allen. Former teammates today, at least the majority of them, keep their beef on the basketball floor. They’re not trying to hide it, but they sure don’t talk about it the way Pierce, Garnett, and Rondo did.
Westbrook dodged the question about Durant for years. LeBron praises Kyrie to this day, even when Irving takes shots at him. Steph is yet to say anything negative about KD’s departure. But Ray Ray’s former teammates wasted no time bashing ‘their guy.’ Years of public animosity shown towards him did leave a bad taste in Allen’s mouth. But he’s learned to get past that.
It was a shame because Boston was a place that I loved playing. I finally felt that like I was somewhere that when you’re moving through the city — although it was tough being a Celtic — you knew that every night people were tuning into the games, people were rabid about what’s going on with the Boston Celtics and everything. That, to me, was special.Ray Allen, The Cedric Maxwell Podcast
Sports fans can be insufferable. Just two months ago, Danny Green experienced it firsthand after receiving death threats for missing an open jumper. Allen is going through something similar for almost a decade, with admixtures of extremes Green was faced with. It should never get to that point. Sports should never be taken so seriously that someone’s safety is potentially on the line. That’s where fans should stay away from internal feuds between current or former teammates. Let the players deal with it, and rest assured it’ll never reach such extremes.
Otherwise, stuff like this can really take a toll on guys involved with the situation. Thankfully it didn’t happen with Green, nor did it happen with Allen. But who can guarantee it won’t happen with someone else. So let’s just stop it. There are more important things in life than basketball.