For the better part of a decade, the image of Boston’s trio of stars that took home a 2008 NBA championship lingered with some bad blood, particularly between Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
In 2012, Allen took less money to leave the Celtics to team up with LeBron James and the talented Miami Heat in an attempt to win another championship. The move infuriated Garnett, which led to his refusal to embrace Allen when the teams played the following season. While Allen has made up with Paul Pierce in the time since then, Garnett and Allen were yet to return to speaking terms.
Sunday’s ceremony for Garnett’s number retirement offered the perfect chance to reunite in front of the Celtics crowd and restore a key relationship in Celtics history. After a brief crossing of paths at NBA All-Star weekend, Allen returned to TD Garden to support his former teammate. Garnett appreciated the gesture, acknowledging Allen during an address and embracing him on the court.
Allen was pleased to put a negative chapter in the past after the embrace with Garnett. “I didn’t want that feeling anymore because it was a terrible feeling,” Allen told the Boston Herald. “I wasn’t worried about it [anymore]. Once we got to the back, this was a moment to celebrate him and let him know I was able to support him.”
With yesterday’s moment, order and respect are restored between three of the most important players to wear the Celtics uniform.