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Miami Heat want Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to apologize to Ray Allen

Better times.

You’ll excuse us for running this story. It’s Celtics-related, and it lit the internet on fire. So, much to my chagrin, here’s this: Apparently Miami, having vanquished Boston’s championship chances for the next few years, isn’t quite finished taking shots at the departed Cs.

A year ago, there was a stream of vitriol from Boston aimed at Ray Allen after he chose to sign with the Heat in the offseason. Kevin Garnett said he lost Allen’s number, Paul Pierce said he hadn’t forgiven him, and coach Doc Rivers implied Allen had an ego problem.

“I think the first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston,'” James said. “I think it’s OK; I didn’t mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they’re leaving.

“That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc, KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”

He’s right to a certain extent, of course. You can’t criticize a person for doing what’s best for his family. If Ray Allen thought moving to Miami was best, that’s his prerogative, and it was his right as an unrestricted free agent. Celtics fans may not have liked vehemently despised his method of departure, but it’s perfectly acceptable to improve one’s own situation.

There were other mitigating factors for Allen as well, which are the same reasons I use for defending him now on Twitter and elsewhere. He probably saw something Celtics fans didn’t, recognizing that the Celtics — for all their offseason moves — were a sinking ship. Since he is neither blind nor deaf, he almost certainly heard the constant trade rumors swirling around him, and given that he was one of the pillars of the 2008 championship squad, he certainly would be justified in being upset. He may have had problems with Rajon Rondo who, for all of the overblown coach-killer talk this offseason, probably isn’t the easiest person to work with. He had been coming off the bench behind Avery Bradley, and although the Celtics needed Bradley’s defense desperately at that point, demotions rarely make for happy workers. All of these are valid reasons for leaving the Celtics if they factored into his decision, which is something only Ray Allen knows.

The argument that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce’s situations were different have been presented ad nauseum at this point. Expectations around the Celtics were much lower when Garnett and Pierce went to Brooklyn. In 2012-13, the Celtics were coming off a surprising seven game series against Miami, one that virtually nobody expected before the playoffs began. Certainly, Boston benefitted greatly from Derrick Rose’s injury, but the biggest issue with the 2012 squad (wing depth) was expected to be resolved — you may recall there was a time that Courtney Lee was a coveted free agent and Jason Terry was allegedly not a corpse.

Obviously, 2012-13 didn’t play out like we expected. The bench depth turned out to be a myth. The older players had, oddly enough, gotten older. Rajon Rondo hurt his knee. Jared Sullinger hurt his back. Boston’s season went down in flames, and when the Celtics got to the playoffs, losing in six to Knicks was just the final ember, catching one last blast of oxygen in Game 6 before falling into ash.

This offseason, the ship had already sunk. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were the last two survivors, floating on wooden beams. The analogy falls apart at this point, but you get the idea. A bad season and a short playoff run told Boston what others had been suggesting for a few years: Title contention is over. A rebuild has to happen.

I can’t blame LeBron for bringing it up. Allen is his teammate now, and I’m sure he feels responsible for defending him. But Allen left Boston to a major rival right after said major rival knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs. He took less money than Boston was offering to join Miami, which is defensible when you consider that Miami hasn’t (as far as we know) tried to trade him, but it still looks bad on paper, and I’m sure it looked bad to Garnett and Pierce who stuck around.

If you ask me, both sides would be better off just leaving well enough alone. And maybe I’d be well served doing the same.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • 2cents

    Funny to hear one guy who bailed on his team try to defend another for bailing. I'm perfectly happy with how this summer went. IMO the C's are off to a great start to their rebuild. Best case we got a young core to grow together. Worst case we got a lot of decent trade chips. Ainge did all involved a favor. Doc doesn't have to go through the rebuild and Pierce and KG get to compete for another title. Not to mention paying Stevens the same amount to coach twice as long then Doc. Low risk high reward all around. All the heat are doing is generating fodder for the bulletin board as if the "Brooklyn Celtics" didn't need anymore motivation.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Lebron James has down syndrome…. For real. The situations are TOTALLY different. I wish he would just shut the F up. What a joke that receding hairline asshole is.

  • James Patrick

    Oh please. that whole "For the family" excuse was BS! his family loved Boston. he was being a little biaacch who was upset for being on the trade blocks the previous years. KG and Pierce are TRUE CELTICS and their numbers will rightfully be hanging from the rafters some day. Ray Allen will be someone that's talked about but forgotten. Stephen Curry will make sure of that. lol #5 and #34 forever baby!

  • hax

    Garnett and Pierce got traded by Danny, they didn't reject fans & more money to go get a free ring with the rival. Ray sold us out. Pierce/KG are heroes, especially The Truth.

    • Celtics

      Exactly, hax just said it best… Allen wanted out, even though we were paying him more… Pierce and KG wouldve stayed if they weren't forced to leave.

  • Ray is a traitor who lost the respect of his fans n former teammates while kg n pierce r loyal ppl tgt r stl greatly respected in boston those r not the same n lebron shud just shut up


    I'm not a Celtics fan, but it's clearly obvious fans forget that Ray was benched for Bradley. The Celtics then went after Terry, and Ray saw the writing on the wall. He knew he wouldn't get much playing time and the offer for the 6 million came AFTER the Heat offer was released. Let's not try to have revisionist history.

    P.S. I'm a Spurs fan and hate the Heat, especially Ray, but come on…

    • hax

      1) Ray Allen was the one who had the idea to come off the bench, Doc said. He wanted to play with the less skilled bench, hoping he could get more 3's off.

      2) He's on the bench in Miami anyways!

    • GowGow

      Celtics went to Terry after Allen asked for 12M per year.

      Allen asked for a ridiculous amount of money, Cs knew he wasn't planning on coming back.

  • tbunny

    What bothers me is Lebron's implication that KG and Pierce "shat" on Allen. The only thing I ever saw from them is that they were hurt that he left. As for shitting on Ray, I never saw it from them. Some fans did sure, but he's talking about KG and Pierce. All I saw was that KG said he "lost" his number, and Pierce said he was hurt.

    Also, to the extent that KG and Pierce said anything about it, my interpretation is that it wasn't about Ray leaving the Celtics per se, it was about Ray leaving them, and going to the Heat. All this nuance appears lost on Lebron.

  • YouSerious?

    When did Pierce ever come after Allen's decision? I may be forgetting, but I don't recall Pierce really saying anything quoteable about Ray's departure.

    Lebron is only right in the fact that fans should really not take the fact that Ray went to Miami so personally. This is a profession, and Allen decided to forgo a big payday to increase his chances to win a ring. You know what that ended up with? One of the greatest shots in playoff history. As a basketball fan, I can live with that.

    However, Lebron has no right to criticize Pierce and KG for leaving, because they did leave after a season where everything took a turn for the worst, and, without Doc Rivers, those two lost any real incentive to be motivated to stay in Boston (especially given Rondo's injury). They left through a trade as well, which benefited the Celtics.

    THAT SAID, even if I don't agree with Lebron, I don't think we need to call him an asshole or whatever. Sure, we get emotional for our teams, but sports fans get bad rep for taking things a bit too far. We want good sportsmanship, so I think maturity from fans should be expected as well.

  • James Patrick

    I'm sorry but Lebron is a little bitch and I am so tired of him and his mouth.

    Ray traveled on that 3. They should not be back to back champions.

    • YouSerious?

      That sounds very, very bitter, honestly. I'm a Celtics fan, but objectively speaking, the guys who won the last ring have a bit of a right to talk high and mighty. Lebron's really not a bad guy, but people give Jordan a pass for being a complete and total asshole to everybody and even praise him for it. Its hypocritical.

      I agree with the author on this whole issue, all of the sides need to just not say anything else, or this will become embarrassing to keep hearing about.

      • jpbl1976

        That's because even after winning two titles, Lebron doesn't get respect because he lacks "grit." Title two came courtesy of Ray Allen's savior 3 — it still rankles me that an ex-Celtic saved the Queen's sorry ass. That 30-player survey ESPN ran says it all — people would want him to have the rock but want him to pass to Jordan or Kobe for the final shot.

        Jordan gets respect because he put in the work, never backed down and refused to budge even though bully teams like the Bad Boy Pistons and Riley's Knicks were mauling him and Pippen on every play they could. Even Rodman, who had every reason to hate the Jordan Bulls came over to play with them because he had so much respect for MJ. No one ever called MJ a quitter or a whiner. If you did, MJ would probably tell you to meet him after the game. This isn't a guy you want to mess with — coaches were warning. On the other hand, everyone — from DeShawn Stevenson to Jason Terry to various role players — finds license to have a beef with Lebron. That's how little respect he has.

        Lebron, when all's said and done, is a passive-aggressive whiner who hides behind people and the refs. He may have excellent athleticism but he wouldn't last 4 games against the Bad Boy Pistons, which is why I laugh whenever people talk about Maimi's big 3 beating Chicago's big 3. Rodman would be on Bron — he already got into Karl Malone's head twice and Malone and Lebron are similar physical specimens (in fact, Queen James is constantly gets compared to Malone). Pippen in his prime would make Bosh cry buckets and MJ vs. Wade. Seriously. Come on: annihilate is understating what an in-his-prime or even late prime MJ would do to Wade.

        Heck, against Pat Riley's Knicks, Riley (who knows Lebron is a crybaby) would have Xavier McDaniel and Oakley maul him on each play.

        • YouSerious?

          This isn't even worth arguing when you're going to straight up ignore the stats and accolades that Lebron has earned so far in his career. Calling him "queen" is just derogatory. If he was a Celtic, you'd love him.

          The kind of disrespect you're showing Lebron would be like me saying Paul Pierce wasn't all that because he only won one Finals series and that's because he had KG and Allen with him.

          See how disrespectful that looks? In that statement I just take one part of Pierce's career and put it under scrutiny, when in reality he's a fantastic, innovative player who will never be forgotten in Celtics history, and who will one day go to the Hall of Fame.

          Sure, Lebron can say things that I'd rather have him not say at all, but to basically call him a bitch is ridiculous. And I love Rodman, but go look up what Malone and Shawn Kemp averaged against the Bulls during Chicago's 2nd Three-Peat; they got theirs.

          When guys don't respect the man who was the best player on the team that won the championship each of the last two years, that comes off to me as just a tactic where they're trying to find any kind of straws to pull at to try and shake Lebron.

          I can respect Lebron because I still love watching the great duels between him and Pierce over the years. It blows my mind that you can't admit that he's a great player worthy of respect.

          Will I be rooting for Pierce to hit another clutch shot over Lebron in the near future? Of course! Will I want Lebron to lose? Of course! But that doesn't stop me from being aware of how good he is.

          • banner18

            LeBron still didn't deliver in the fourth in the finals. If you remember, he had few clutch shots in the fourth. In game 6, he had TWO opportunities for game tying shots, and wasted both. That's not to say that everyone else has no faults. KG tends to put up illegal screens (but I won't complain about those). Paul Pierce is too used to playing the hero in games, because he had to do it for 15 years.

          • YouSerious?

            I don't understand what your argument is then? That every player has flaws? Sure, I agree with that. I'm just trying to say that the guy's a pretty damn good basketball player and I'm sure that even if KG and Pierce spent the last few years chiding Lebron during the rivalry between Lebron's teams and the Celtics, they probably respect him as a player. Regardless though, I just want to see Pierce stick it to Lebron one more time.

        • JDP

          Man, a Celtics fan should know better than to subscribe to the Lebron is weak narrative. His 2012 playoffs (and specifically game 6 against the Celts) should have put an end to that. I personally feel nobody has had more riding on a postseason than that and he repeatedly came up big.

          That said, I think he should have kept quiet on this.

  • Joe

    why is this even a real story? this is stupid. only for the media to have something to talk about. has nothing to do with basketball…

  • Jordu

    It was dumb of Lebron to bring this back up. This whole thing had blown over a long time ago. For some reason, I guess Lebron felt he still needed to defend Ray's honor. I'm sure Ray is happy that Lebron has his back in this fashion.

    Lebron is completely off-base here. How did Pierce ever "shat" on Ray? All he said was that he was surprised that Ray left. Wow, what a burn. I suppose KG was a bit more inflammatory and colorful but all he said was that he lost Ray's number. I wouldn't call that "shatting" on Ray left and right.

    If Lebron is also equatting Ray leaving as a free agent and Pierce unwillingly being traded, well, that's really really dumb.

  • banner18

    My problem is that KG is known for being slightly (or maybe clinically) crazy. LeBron knows. Ray Allen, his teammate for 5 years, knows. So for them to react like second-rate divas at a typical Garnett comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And the difference is that LeBron and Ray Allen both WILLINGLY left their teams to go to another one, and PP and KG were traded. LeBron just wants press because no one is paying attention to the Heat anymore with Derrick Rose's comeback and the Celtics-Nets blockbuster trade. No one is just giving them the title anymore. I remember I was rooting for the Spurs to win, because if the Heat won, then everyone would forget how it took them 7 games to eliminate a clearly inferior Pacers team. And guess what? They did.

  • Josh_5

    Hahahahaha! I love that Garnett, Pierce and the Celtics are STILL living rent-free in Lebron's head!!!! Dude's won 2 chips and still can't sleep at night.

  • OlaCambada

    Doc, KG, Pierce even Ainge are a bunch of Hypocrites and Losers. Ray Allen was the classiest out of them all and they ran him out. Then they bail on the fans right after lol.

  • OlaCambada

    If KG and Pierce were really about ubuntuu and the team, they would have signed for the same amount as Ray like Lebron Wade Bosh did. But Pierce demanded more in 2020 and is a greedy smurf. Only those asleep ignore these facts and keep on praising Pierce and Rivers and trashing Sugar Ray.

    • YouSerious?

      You're no better than the type of fans you're slandering, because nobody among KG, Pierce, or Ray is a greedy player. None of those players are losers either, and Doc Rivers isn't lame in any respect. They were all part of a great team together, and they all carry separate, tremendous legacies in basketball.

  • Mark

    Ray Ray left and Pierce and Garnett were traded. You can not compare the two. Lebron needs to keep his comments to himself. Look what he did to Cleveland and Im sure he will do the same to Miami. This does not take away from what Ray Allen contributed while in Boston, nor am I saying Lebron is a bad play. Everyone makes a decision that best suits the individual. No one knows why Lebron left Cleveland or why Ray Allen left Boston. Only they know!!

  • Paul Pierce is a very good player! When will be the next game?!