Author and sports journalist Michael Holley dropped by The DA Show on Thursday to discuss his new book, “The Big Three: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and the Rebirth of the Boston Celtics,” which chronicles the franchise’s journey to an NBA title in 2008.
Unfortunately, one-third of that Big Three – Ray Allen – has been ostracized from the group, this after signing with the Miami Heat in free agency in 2012. Allen helped LeBron James win an NBA title in 2013, drilling a pivotal three-pointer to force overtime against San Antonio in Game 6, which the Heat won.
Unfortunately, Pierce and Garnett have never forgiven Allen for joining forces with James.
“Pettiness,” Holley said on The DA Show. “It’s pure pettiness. I have to say if you just step back, especially with the benefit of the hindsight, you know it’s petty.”
As Holley explained, Allen’s Boston exit was several years in the making. But it reached the point of no return in 2012.
“Toward the end of the 2012 season – it was a game in Indiana – Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo got into one of the nastiest arguments in the locker room that a lot of people there have seen,” Holley said. “And this is not your usual, ‘Hey, players fight, players disagree, we’re all family’ – all the cliches people have when these things become public. It wasn’t that. . . . Rondo goes in on Ray Allen, so Ray Allen is taken aback, like, ‘Where is this coming from?’ They start going back and forth, and a couple of people who were there said, ‘They can’t come back from this.’ They looked at it and said, ‘This is not one of those things that it’ll just be okay in the morning.’ It was personal. It was building up, it had been there for years and years, and they just exploded in that argument. So it was clear in 2012 that one of those guys was going to have to leave.”
In the end, the Celtics chose to keep the young point guard over the veteran shooting guard.
“The organization was committed to Rondo,” Holley said. “He was a young point guard. He was an ascending player. Ray Allen was an aging player. Rondo was closer to KG and Paul than Ray was. They were just in different points of their lives. So when Ray left, that had to happen anyway; it just happened on his terms. . . . They never forgave him for it. And isn’t it ironic that Rajon Rondo just won a championship with LeBron in L.A. Rondo has played with not only LeBron, he’s also played with D-Wade.”
Indeed, time may heal all wounds, but it hasn’t healed the one involving Allen and the Celtics.
“Time should take care of it, but it hasn’t in this case,” Holley said. “The main characters are still not really cool with each other.”