Tony Allen: No Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Tributes by Former Teams Disrespectful

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2017

New Orleans Pelicans guard Tony Allen (24) stands on the court during a video tribute to him in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Brandon Dill/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans swingman Tony Allen has Kevin Durant's and Kyrie Irving's backs.

Per a Friday report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Allen commented on how it was disrespectful for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers not to have video tributes when their former players returned home:

"That's kind of being petty for the organization. It's premeditated. They thought about doing that before you even came back. To give [Durant's No. 35] jersey away [to another player], a guy who has been in multiple MVP conversations, scoring champs, got those guys to the [2012 Finals] … And another guy like Kyrie, who won a championship for those people, it’s a sign of disrespect and a sign of pettiness."

Spears noted Allen received a video tribute Oct. 18 when he came back to play the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time since leaving.

Allen's comments came after he witnessed another video tribute in New Orleans' Thursday game against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings were honoring Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins, who spent his first six-and-a-half seasons with the franchise before it traded him to New Orleans during the 2016-17 All-Star break.

Spears pointed out the Thunder had some hesitation about a tribute for Durant last season because "they were nervous that their remaining star, Russell Westbrook, would be peeved if Durant got a video tribute."

As for Cleveland and Irving, there was plenty of back-and-forth offseason drama after he requested a trade following three straight trips to the NBA Finals and an NBA title with LeBron James, according to's Brian Windhorst. He is also playing for one of the Cavaliers' chief Eastern Conference rivals in the Boston Celtics.

Given the Celtics' history, they likely would have given Irving a video tribute if the situation were reversed.

"Always. I hear that all the time," Allen—a former Celtic—said of the phrase, "Once a Celtic, always a Celtic," per Spears. "You look at a guy like Leon Powe. He was a Celtic. I go back, and seven, eight years later he's working with the Celtics. They're always going to look out and show love, and a lot of organizations should do that."

Considering Durant's Golden State Warriors could match up with the Thunder in the Western Conference playoffs while Irving's Celtics could be destined for a postseason showdown with Cleveland, the pair will have to settle for showing their old franchises what they are missing.