Celtics

Celtics

Doc Rivers just wishes the "Big Three"-era Boston Celtics would all get along.

The talented group that brought the 2008 NBA title to Boston still hasn't fully reconciled with Ray Allen, who left the Celtics' core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo in 2012 to join LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

For example, when the Celtics retired Pierce's No. 34 jersey at TD Garden in February 2018, many members of that 2008 championship team were in attendance -- but not Allen.

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In a recent interview with CLNS Media's Jeff Goodman and The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan, Rivers took the blame for the continued coldness between Allen and his former teammates.

"This one I take on myself," the former Celtics coach said. "I really failed with the Paul jersey retirement. I really thought Ray should have come to that, and I tried to get him to, and he just -- he wanted to, he was going to, and then he just didn't."

Rivers said he's tried to convince both sides to get together and let bygones be bygones -- which Pierce and Allen did briefly in 2017 -- and that he'll try again next season when the Celtics raise Garnett's No. 5 to the rafters.

 

"The last conversation I had with my guys, I said, 'There is no right time. The time is now. Just do it. And it'll be all fine. It'll be great,' " Rivers said.

" ... So, we've got to get this one done. I think it would be magical next year when they retire Kevin's jersey. I think it would be absolutely magical to get [Allen] to come out. He would be shocked by the ovation that he got."

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Rivers admitted he also was upset that Allen left to join the Celtics' "arch-enemy" in Miami, which had just defeated Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.

But the Los Angeles Clippers coach sincerely believes both Boston fans and Allen's ex-teammates appreciate his contributions to that 2008 title.

"At the end of the day, the one thing I know about Celtics fans and our players: They all know we don't have a ring without Ray Allen," Rivers said.

Unfortunately for Allen and his former teammates, they won't be reconciling in person anytime soon with the country in a virtual lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.