After the Boston Celtics announced they were sending Kevin Garnett's number to the rafters last week, a discussion about whether or not Ray Allen's number should be retired began.
While Paul Pierce's No. 34 already hangs over the TD Garden court, Garnett's No. 5 will join him -- two members of the 2007-08 Celtics team that won it's first NBA title in 22 years -- so why not Allen?
Well, Michael Holley and our Celtics insider Chris Forsberg break down their thoughts on the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast -- and Holley had a tremendous point to make about Allen and Garnett's relationship.
Let's pretend that Ray Allen wanted to leave and he had the organization's blessing, and he left at the same time and Paul [Pierce] was like 'hey man, Ray [Allen] you have to do what you have to do even though you took less money from Miami,' and KG [Kevin Garnett] instead of ignoring him on opening night in Miami, gives him a big hug and says 'hey Ray, I love you.' I would still say no, because I would say if that whole group is here for six years like KG then everybody goes up. But, you kind of left at the midway point. And I'm not saying 'well you shouldn't have left' and 'how dare you leave.' It's just strange to be putting that number up after three years.
Holley and Forsberg later corrected themselves, noting Allen was in Boston for five years (not three), but that didn't change their stance on the situation.
"Well, first off, they put 20 back in circulation with Gordon Hayward obviously wearing it now," Forsberg said. "So, that to me was like the time they were like 'hey, this isn't happening.' You don't put that number back out there if you think it's ever going up. So I don't hold my breath on that. I do wonder what the benefit of time will do. Whether there will be a thawing eventually where more people within the Celtics organization are open-minded to the idea, and yet I can't get myself to the point where I say as relaxed as the Celtics have been about the criteria for sending someone up, maybe more so than other organizations, whether they would bring it to the point where they said 'alright, third best player on a championship team.'"
Allen averaged 16.7 points, 2.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game in his five years with the Celtics while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from three-point range. He was also a three-time All-Star with the Celtics, but that still wasn't enough to convince Holley and Forsberg that his number should be retired.
"I think he should be celebrated for his achievements when every time we talk about celebrating that 2007-08 team they kind of squeeze him out," Forsberg said. "I do feel some semblance of disappointment. Like, he was a big part of that team, and yet, he had some bad playoff games. He wasn't exactly like, especially in that 2010 year, you go back and he had a couple of 2-for-12 games... he had some rough nights. Everyone had their moments, but if Ray had played better, maybe they would have won."
While Allen did play a roll in the Celtics 2007-08 championship title, he didn't do nearly all Garnett did in his tenure with the organization. And leaving for the Miami Heat certainly shouldn't help his candidacy for number retirement.
For more of the Celtics thoughts including thoughts about Brad Stevens being less stressed this year than he was last year, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.
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