Where's the beef?
According to Ray Allen, it never existed.
Asked by NBC Sports Boston analyst/former teammate Brian Scalabrine if "the beef was squashed," a reference to Allen's reported falling out with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and other members of the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics, Allen said there never was any.
"When I left, I was so excited for my journey that I was on, but I loved these guys," Allen said.
Following five seasons with Pierce, Garnett, Rajon Rondo, et al, Allen departed the Celtics as a free agent for the rival Miami Heat, then featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, following the 2011-12 season. The Heat had defeated the Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals that year, en route to their first championship.
Allen helped Miami to a second title the following spring, thanks in large part to his game-tying 3-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs in a game the Heat would go on to win in overtime before taking the series.
It doesn't seem as though Allen's feelings about the lack of beef were shared by the other principals of the 2008 team. While Allen and Pierce had reportedly smoothed things over a few years back, it wasn't until All-Star Weekend in Cleveland last month that Allen and Garnett showed signs of a thaw.
After posing for a picture together in Cleveland, Garnett had said "life is about moving, growing."
Rondo, the last member of the 2008 team still active in the NBA, was said to still be at odds with Allen by NBC Sports Boston analyst Chris Mannix on Sunday during Garnett's jersey retirement ceremony.
But Allen, for his part, is completely over whatever had come between he and his teammates in Boston, a six-year stretch which featured only one title but a second appearance in the Finals, as well as another trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
"The thing that I always hold close to my heart is not just 2008, but that whole mission -- 2009, 2010 -- in this building, we played some amazing games, had some great times on the planes, just life was great for those five years and that's what I focused on over the last 10 years, everything that we did together," Allen said to Scal. "That to me was the most important."