Kevin Garnett isn’t one to simply let things go, even when what he’s hung up on may have occurred a near-decade ago.
Whether you describe him as prideful, tenacious or hardheaded, his mentality played a pivotal part in molding the once 19-year-old fifth-overall pick into an NBA champion and a Hall of Famer. However, it’s also hindered a once-solid relationship with his former Boston Celtics teammate — one that doesn’t look to be turning the corner anytime soon.
It’s no secret that Ray Allen’s decision to jettison the Celtics’ “Big 3” in 2012 to go ring chasing with LeBron James and the Miami Heat didn’t exactly sit well will his former Boston teammates. While Allen and Paul Pierce have since smoothed things over, Rajon Rondo has remained adamant regarding his stance on Allen, while Garnett also appears opposed to burying the hatchet.
Garnett recently took to Instagram (via BostonCelticsForever) to reminisce on the 2011 All-Star game where four members of the Celtics were selected to participate. The now 45-year-old Garnett shared a picture to his Instagram story of himself alongside Rondo and Pierce. Thing is, the fourth member, Allen, was also once part of that picture — that is of course before Garnett cropped him out of it.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Allen vs. KG
As history goes, Allen went on to play his final two professional seasons in South Beach, capturing an NBA title in 2012-13 and reaching another NBA Finals the following season. In terms of his Celtics tenure, Allen played alongside Garnett for five years, including the 2007-08 campaign, where the duo helped Boston net their first Larry O’Brien trophy in more than two decades.
“I never had any ill will towards Kevin. This is not a two-way argument or debate. This is him,” Allen said on The Cedric Maxwell podcast in 2020. “He dug his heels in the sand and he decided I’m not a brother of his anymore and so I said ‘cool.’”
Following Allen’s departure, Garnett lasted just one more season in Beantown before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets along with Pierce and Jason Terry. Garnett spent nearly two seasons in Brooklyn before returning to Minnesota to close out his 21-year career with the franchise that drafted him No. 5 overall in 1995.
Celtics Retiring Garnett’s Number
On March 13, 2022, Garnett’s name and number will finally be immortalized in the rafters alongside the other 22 franchise legends to have their jersey number retired. Garnett’s ceremony will occur during a home game at TD Garden against the Dallas Mavericks.
During Garnett’s storied six seasons with the Celtics, “The Big Ticket” averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks. As highlighted by NBA.com, he sits among the franchise’s top-10 leaders in defensive rebounds, total blocks and shooting percentage. He also earned Defensive Player of the Year honors during his first season in green and white, as well as five All-Star appearances during his Boston tenure.