Danny Ainge Admits Ray Allen’s Celtics Exit Will ‘Impact’ Number Retirement


Feb 19, 2020

With Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 set to join Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next season, Ray Allen soon will be the only member of this century’s “Big Three” without his number in the TD Garden rafters.

But will that someday change? Danny Ainge readily admits it’s a complicated situation.

The Boston Celtics president of basketball operations discussed the issue Wednesday during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Touche & Rich” program. While Ainge conceded that Allen’s infamous move to the Miami Heat in 2012 “will have some impact” the organization’s decision, he did not offer a definitive opinion on the debate.

“These are not my decisions,” Ainge said. “So, if someone asks my opinion on this, I’ll weigh in at the appropriate time. But this is Wyc (Grousbeck, Celtics owner)’s team and he gets to make those decisions.”

Although Garnett, Pierce, and other members of the Celtics’ 2008 championship have been cold toward Allen, Ainge has taken the high road.

“We get along great. I’m a big, big fan of Ray,” Ainge said. “I’ll always be grateful to Ray for the championship that he gave us.”

However, Ainge added: “I know that’s not the exact same feeling of everybody in the organization.”

Allen’s infamous Celtics exit aside, there’s a strong argument to be made he doesn’t belong in the Garden rafters. Sure, Allen was a key piece on a championship team but he played just five seasons in Boston and only averaged 16.7 points per game.

Garnett’s qualifications also are rather flimsy, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Thumbnail photo via Shanna Lockwood/USA TODAY Sports Images
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