Paul Pierce believes he could have held his band of brothers together if given the chance.
The Boston Celtics legend explained Thursday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria” why he fell out with former teammate Ray Allen in 2012.
As most already know, Allen’s defection from the Celtics to then-rival Miami Heat in free agency burned bridges between him and the teammates he left behind. Pierce previously has discussed his (now-healed) rift with Allen but he detailed on “OMF” exactly why he was so upset with the sharpshooter.
“At the end of the day, it was really about how — when Ray left to Miami or how he did it and I always expressed that,” Pierce said. “We called you, I called his phone, I texted him, he wouldn’t answer. The next thing I know we learned there was a problem with his contract.
“I was like ‘Dude, just talk to me, maybe I can resolve this,’ and he just never returned calls. Next thing you know, he ends up in Miami. For me, it was about my call. Have the respect from a guy who you’ve been to some war with, who we talked every day. Let’s see if we can work this out again and that was the whole deal with me, personally.”
Most members of the Celtics’ 2008 NBA championship team and the core group which competed for titles over the ensuing four seasons have remained close, with Allen being the glaring exception. He either wasn’t invited or didn’t attend Pierce’s number-retirement ceremony last February at TD Garden, the reunion with several ex-teammates last May on Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” show or the 2008 Celtics’ 10-year-anniversary party last summer. Allen’s former teammates also declined to congratulate him in September on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The drama clearly continues between Allen and the rest of the group, and it’s sad to know much of it stems from a failure to communicate.
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