Ray Allen had better things to do than attend Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement Sunday at TD Garden, and while the Boston Celtics legend isn’t upset at his former teammate for missing his day, one ESPN commentator wasn’t pleased with Allen.
Stephen A. Smith discussed Allen’s absence Monday on “First Take,” calling the decision to go golfing instead of celebrating his former Big Three brother uncalled for.
“He should have been there,” Smith said. “They won a championship together. They were the Big Three. Some would say LeBron (James) instigated it, where LeBron and his people would tell you Boston instigated it when the three were paired together back in 2008. Some would say it’s the Big Four obviously because (Rajon) Rondo proved, at that particular moment in time, that he was just as integral a part of their championship team as the rest of them were.
“But Ray Allen is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, he is class personified in most instances, there’s no denying that,” Smith continued. “Whatever friction existed, wasn’t with Paul. If this were Kevin Garnett, I wouldn’t blame him because Kevin Garnett was cold as ice to him … As it pertains to Paul Pierce, there is no reason on Earth why Ray Allen should not have been there, there’s just no excuse for it.”
Allen and the rest of the Big Three have had a fractured relationship ever since the sharpshooter bolted Boston to join LeBron James and the Miami Heat, and they apparently haven’t buried the hatchet despite Pierce claiming otherwise.
Maybe they’ll be able to get past their issues in time for the 20th anniversary of their title.