In the 2007 NBA offseason, Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge succeeded to form their own “Big Three.” After two years of missing the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Celtics traded several players and multiple draft picks to acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. The 2007 blockbuster trades were one of the best decisions the Celtics ever made as the “Big Three” of Allen, Garnett, and Paul Pierce helped them make two NBA Finals appearances and win an NBA championship title.
However, everything started to fall apart when the Celtics lost to the LeBron-James-led Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals 2012. Ray Allen earned plenty of criticisms when he left the Celtics for the Heat in 2012 NBA free agency. The decision helped Allen win another NBA championship title, but six years after his controversial move, he’s yet to fix his relationship with his former Celtics teammates, specifically Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.
Ray Allen is set to be inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame, but he said that he is not expecting to get congratulatory messages from his former Celtics teammates. Doc Rivers, who served as the Celtics head coach from 2004-2013, revealed that he tried to mend the fences between Allen and Rondo, but he failed.
“I’ve tried, I can tell you that,” Rivers said, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN. “It’s a lot of little things. Here’s the thing: You have two Hall of Fame guys as far as their competitiveness. The reason that Ray was who he is, Rondo was who he is, Kevin, Paul — I think Paul has done the right thing as far as throwing out the olive branch. [But] it’s also why we were really good is why they don’t get along: very stubborn, very tough, very competitive and no one wants to give in.”
Despite his decision to leave the Celtics to join their Eastern Conference rivals, Coach Doc Rivers strongly believes that Ray Allen’s induction in the NBA Hall of Fame should be celebrated in Boston. Rivers said that the Celtics wouldn’t have won the 2008 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers if Allen wasn’t on their side. Rivers also took some of the blame for what happened to his former team, saying he should have done a better job getting the group back together.
Though the “Big Three” of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett didn’t part ways in good terms, Rivers said that the 2008 Boston Celtics is one of the best teams in the NBA history.