On Kevin Garnett's 2008 Celtics reunion on KG's Area 21 Monday night, it didn't take long for KG to begin addressing the elephant in the room: Ray Allen's absence, and his estrangement from his former teammates.
"Everybody's asking us, ‘Where's Ray?' " Garnett said at the start of the segment. "People don't understand that this is real life for us . . . and the situation with Ray is very sensitive."
Allen left the Celtics for the Heat after the 2011-12 season -- a move Glen "Big Baby" Davis described as "ring-hopping" -- without talking to any of his Celtic teammates, particularly Garnett and Paul Pierce. It wasn't so much the departure that didn't go down well with those Celtic players as much as the fact that Allen simply left without discussing the move with any of them.
"It was more than just basketball with us," said Pierce. "We all shared each other's family lives together . . . It was personal relationships . . . It's sour. It's sour. That's what it kind of felt like. It felt like a sour breakup . . .
"It almost felt like, you're married and you come home and the wife and the kids and the clothes [are] out of the house and you didn't get a note or nothing," said Pierce. "You didn't get an Instagram or Tweet or nothing. They just gone. Like, man, that's wrong."
Pierce said that if Allen had "had a conversation . . . then it would have settled over a little bit more. I don't think we would have been as salty . . . Now it's uncomfortable. I haven't talked to Ray in some years now and it's just, it's different."
"I think when we all talked about doing this reunion tour, we [talked] about guys we consider loyal and part of this group," said Garnett. "Just being honest, my two cents, man, when Ray decided to go to the Heat, I felt like he moved on. And he went to pursue another ring, and he got another ring. Shout out to him. And that's it."
Kendrick Perkins was traded by the Celtics to Oklahoma City during the 2010-11 season, and the Thunder nearly faced Allen's Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in 2014. It was a matchup Perkins relished.
"Ooh, I was wishing that [the Thunder and Heat would meet in the Finals]. I ain't gonna lie," Perkins said. "I'm like, 'Dang, man, I'm about to meet up with . . . ' "
"Almost," said Garnett. "Almost!"
The Thunder, however, were beaten by the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, and Miami then defeated San Antonio for the NBA championship.
See the entire conversation here:
“It was more than basketball for us… It felt like a sour breakup.”— KG's Area 21 (@KGArea21) May 9, 2017
Pierce, KG, Rondo, Big Baby & Perk share their thoughts on Ray Allen. pic.twitter.com/8JYRWmxm0i