Ex-Celtics Guard Convinced Three-Time Champ to Not Join Nets in Free Agency

Ray Allen and Eddie House of the Boston Celtics

Getty Ray Allen and Eddie House of the Boston Celtics.

The 2008 Boston Celtics team is often lauded as the first super team. A team that featured Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, all in their primes, was among the preseason favorites to win the NBA title. And as title favorites, many players found themselves trying to make it onto Boston’s roster in hopes of winning a ring. But as with anything else in life, super teams have mixed reviews. Not every player wants to be a part of a super team because it would mean sacrificing their stats.

Three-time NBA champion James Posey was one of the players who needed to be convinced to join the 2008 Celtics. And his top recruiter was none other than Celtics guard Eddie House.

“I’m coming to Boston. Give me Pose’s (James Posey) number, and let me talk to him. James Posey already had a deal; he was going to New Jersey [Nets]. I just came from New Jersey, right? So, the year before I had just come from New Jersey, and he was getting ready to go to New Jersey!

So, I called him and basically, I was like, ‘Yo Pose, Listen to this. I just came from there. There’s nothing wrong with it. You’re gonna get some numbers, J-Kidd is going to be looking for you. If you run the floor, J-Kidd WILL find you! It’s going to be fun playing but you’re NOT going to beat THIS team,” House said to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports.

“If you come here, we’re going to win a championship!’ we were on the phone for the longest and I switched his mind and he ended up coming so I think that was an important piece.

So, we got that and then I think [Rajon] Rondo coming into his second year understanding exactly what he needed to do and Perk being exactly what he needed to be, and I think that we just had the perfect combination”

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House Lauds Celtics Stars for Unselfishness

House has had the privilege of playing with multiple super teams in his NBA career. The 2008 Celtics were led by Pierce, Allen, and Garnett, and the 2011 Miami Heat team that was led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. While House says that each team had something unique about them, what separated the Celtics was their unselfishness.

“I think the difference between that because if you look at it, I played on two different teams that did similar things, right? So, the team in Boston and then the team in Miami when LeBron [James] came in with Chris Bosh, right?… added with D-Wade. Two different things.

On the Celtics team, KG was already an MVP. KG had already been to the Western Conference Finals. Paul [Pierce] went to the Eastern Conference Finals; Ray [Allen] went to the Eastern Conference Finals… they had all the accolades later in their career,” House added.

“KG’s in the post, pick and pop or pick and roll; Paul can iso, Ray coming off screens and iso if needs to with the dagger. You have three guys that can be closers.

KG, Paul, and Ray, and each one will say, ‘It’s your turn to do it tonight or it’s YOUR turn to do it tonight…’ nobody was like, It’s mine and that’s what it is and we’re going to move out the way for you… it was however the game was flowing and Doc [Rivers] had a real good feel for that whole team, for the locker room especially because he knew when to push and he knew when to pull back.”

Charles Barkley Takes Shot at Super Teams

Players’ legacies are largely decided by how many championships they win. And with that being the case, teaming up with other great players and having a better chance to win has become even more popular lately.

But former NBA players like Charles Barkley are not fans of stars teaming up. In 2018, he told me that he would rather not win than be a part of a super team.

“I would rather not win than be on a super team,” Barkley told me on the Unnecessary Roughness podcast in 2018.

“It doesn’t matter what option you are. Sports are about competition. It’s about competition. Like, I admire Patrick Ewing for trying to bring a championship to New York. I admire Reggie Miller for trying to bring a championship. I admire Michael Jordan for not leaving when they got beat by the Pistons every year. He didn’t pack up and say, ‘Let me play with Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird.”

With the ongoing saga surrounding the Brooklyn Nets, it will be interesting to see if super teams will still be around for years to come.

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