Ray Allen, part of the Celtics' Big Three that won Boston's last championship in 2008, is one of the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 announced Saturday at NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
Allen, the all-time leader in three-pointers with 2,973, who, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, helped the Celtics hang their 17th championship banner, joins Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Grant Hills and WNBA stars Tina Thompson and Katie Smith as first-time nominees. Also among the finalists are Maurice Cheeks, Chris Webber, coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, coach Kim Mulkey, coach Rudy Tomjanovich, referee Hugh Evans, and the Wayland Baptist University women’s team.
The inductees to be enshrined in the Hall in September in Springfield, Mass., will be revealed April 1 at the NCAA men's Final Four in San Antonio.
Finalists for induction need to be retired for at least three seasons. They'll now be voted on by a 24-member panel that includes current Hall of Famers, basketball executives and media members. Those receiving at least 18 of 24 votes will be inducted.
More on the Hall finalists here from NBCSports.com's Pro Basketball Talk
Allen was part of a recent Celtics Talk podcast where he talked about his Celtics career and the controversy after he left to join the Miami Heat in 2012. Click here or listen below.
When Paul Pierce had his legendary number 34 raised to the Garden rafters, there was only one member of the big three missing: Ray Allen.
There's been plenty of rumors and discussion over the years about Allen's supposed falling out with members of the 2008 Celtics.
Not a whole lot has been said publicly, but there has always been a dark cloud hanging over Allen's relationship with his teammates.
Ray Allen took to Instagram in order to try and express himself on how he really feels about his time in Boston, and more importantly, Paul Pierce.
What we did in 2008 was special! Not only by Boston standards but by professional sports standards. The truth is, without any one of us on that team we would’ve never been able to do the unthinkable. Going from last place in one year to winning a championship is unfathomable. But, we did it! WE did it- Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, P.J. Brown, Sam Cassell, Glen Davis, Eddie House, Kendrick Perkins, Scott Pollard, James Posey, Leon Powe, Gabe Pruitt, Brian Scalabrine, Doc, Danny, everyone at the Celtics Organization, our wives, children, families, the Fans in The City of Boston and yes, me. Over the last few years I have been berated, lambasted and had my name smeared. You may not want to hear this, but I will always be a Celtic. (Fact). I will always cherish the bonds that I shared with all of my teammates and the people in the city of Boston. (Truth). We all gave everything we had. We all won and we all raised the 2008 NBA Championship banner together. (Ubuntu) Paul Pierce is the first guy that welcomed Kevin and me with open arms into his atmosphere from day one and we never looked back. Paul and I have spoken about our time together as teammates- going to battle night after night knowing we could count on one another and we have also talked about my decision to leave during free agency- a choice I made for my family. Despite what you may have heard or read or what is rumored- there is nothing but love. Paul and I are more interested in building bridges than putting up walls. To Paul, number 34, Congratulations on having your number raised up to the rafters. I salute you for your commitment to the city of Boston and to us the 2008 NBA Champions #thetruth
Paul Pierce deescalated the drama between himself and Ryan Allen.
During an appearance on ESPN's "The Jump" with host Rachel Nichols on Monday, Pierce broached Allen's absence at his jersey retirement ceremony. Not only was Allen not in attendance, but he also posted a photo on Instagram of his afternoon golfing with George Lopez.
That didn't seem to bother Pierce.
“I'm more upset the other Allen wasn't there -- the young guy, Tony Allen," Pierce said on ESPN. "Big Baby was in Boston. These are guys I talk to every week. I'm more upset at the other Allen, because he was just waived. He's at home. He could've been here."
While Allen wasn't in attendance, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Doc Rivers were all there for the ceremony. Allen's relationship with all of the Celtics has grown complex and strained to different degrees since he departed Boston in free agency back in 2012.
Nichols asked whether Ray Allen and Pierce have sorted out some of their difference.
"We did. A lot of guys weren’t there, and he lives — what? — in Miami. To each his own, but I have no problem with that,” Pierce said.