When a player of Ray Allen’s caliber retires, it usually prompts a wave of glowing praise across the NBA. Apparently no one passed that memo to Rajon Rondo.
The Chicago Bulls point guard, of course, was teammates with Allen for five seasons on the Boston Celtics and won an NBA title with him in 2008. So, after Allen officially announced his retirement Tuesday morning, Rondo was asked for his reaction.
He reacted, all right.
First things first: We can kind of justify Rondo’s comments here, since Allen hadn’t played since the 2013-14 season and essentially had finished his playing career, even if he reportedly mulled a few comeback offers in the last two years.
But it’s impossible to consider the backstory between the two and not think Rondo is throwing a little shade at his ex-teammate. Paul Pierce told ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan in a 2015 interview that Allen had a “weird” relationship with his Celtics teammates, adding that the sharpshooter “probably didn’t like Rondo that much” and once bailed on a team dinner to celebrate Rondo re-signing with the Celtics.
Allen may have hinted at that odd dynamic in his Players’ Tribune retirement letter, which mentions Pierce and Kevin Garnett but not Rondo.
“When you get to the NBA, you won?t always play cards with the boys,” Allen writes. “Some people will assume you?re not being a good teammate.”
It’s possible we’re reading way too much into Rondo’s comments — or lack thereof — on Allen’s retirement, but he didn’t exactly heap platitudes on the 10-time All-Star as many others did throughout the day Tuesday.
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