So, where exactly did things go wrong?
Allen recently shed more light on his time with the Celtics during a sitdown interview with NBC Sports Boston’s Kyle Draper. The former NBA sharpshooter explained he became unhappy when Rondo started refusing to share the basketball with him — a problem Allen claims then-C’s coach Doc Rivers knew about.
“I guess the last year I realized that there was a problem. There was a blow-up in the locker room — I wrote about it in the book — and I wanted to clarify it, I wanted to figure this thing out and move forward, because we had 11 games left and we were going to the playoffs and we had a chance,” Allen said. “He didn’t want anything to do with it. He didn’t want to figure out whatever we needed to do. He was just being this person that was like, ‘You know what? Screw you.’
“There were parts throughout the season where I was starting to feel this type of resentment toward me on the floor. Other people would tell me at first and I would ignore it, because I don’t like people getting into my team business, because this is my teammate. But people would always say, ‘He looks you off. When you come off a screen, he sees you and he doesn’t pass you the ball when you’re open.’
” … Then I started paying attention to it because I started noticing it, and I went to Doc. And I asked Doc and I said, ‘Doc, dude is looking me off and he’s not passing me the ball. And I don’t know why, but I’m running the plays that you’re drawing up and he’s not passing me the ball. And he’ll shoot it or he’ll go in the other direction.’ And Doc’s response was: ‘I know. We talked about it as a coaching staff.’ ”
This miscommunication didn’t sit well with Allen, a 36-year-old All-Star in his fifth season with Boston and 16th NBA season overall. Allen ultimately signed with the Miami Heat during the ensuing offseason, which seemingly ticked off some of his former Celtics teammates.
“I was like, ‘Wow. So you knew this whole time and you didn’t say anything, you didn’t address it to me and, more importantly, you’re not addressing (Rondo) about it,” Allen said, looking back on Rivers’ involvement — or lack thereof — in smoothing things over between him and Rondo. “I think (Rivers’) response or his way of handling it was, this is when he wanted to bring me off the bench.”
Maybe Allen and Rondo someday will spend time together and completely bury the hatchet. For now, we’re left to wonder whether the Celtics — winners of one title with the core of Allen, Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — could have raised another banner with better communication.
Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images