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Doc Rivers Hopes Ray Allen Attends Kevin Garnett's Celtics Jersey Retirement

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2020

BOSTON - JUNE 17:  (L-R) Legend Bill Russell, Ray Allen #20, Head Coach Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett #5, and Paul Pierce #34  of the Boston Celtics pose for a portrait with the Larry O'Brien trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the 2008 NBA Finals on June 17, 2008 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics won 131-92. NOTE TO USER:User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said Saturday he'll do everything in his power to help eliminate any lingering issues between Ray Allen and other members of the Boston Celtics' 2008 championship team before Kevin Garnett gets his jersey retired by the organization next season.

Rivers, the coach of that title-winning team, explained some players have squashed the beef but not all of the relationships have been mended over the years.

"I think it's ridiculous, but it's still there, with some guys, not with every guy," Rivers told reporters. "KG is getting his jersey retired next year, and I'm hoping everyone is there. I'll make the right calls—that doesn't mean the right things will happen."

Allen's decision to leave the Celtics to join the Miami Heat in 2012 is the main point of contention.

When Rajon Rondo set up a reunion vacation for members of the 2008 squad in 2017, he said his former teammates were cold on the idea of inviting Allen.

"I asked a couple of the guys," he told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. "I got a no, a no head shake."

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Rondo explained a star player's departure for a rival title contender, which has since become more accepted around the NBA, was viewed more negatively then.

"I don't know a good analogy to put this in," he told Spears. "It just wasn't the greatest separation. It wasn't the greatest thing that could've happened to us as a team, a bond. We were at war with those guys [Miami]. To go with the enemy, that's unheard-of in sports. Well, it's not so unheard of. It's damn near common now."

Allen's departure marked the beginning of the end for that Celtics core as the Heat took over as the league's predominant team.

Some Boston teammates have moved on from the feud. In September 2017, longtime C's stalwart Paul Pierce posted a picture alongside Allen on Instagram.

"Time to get the band back together," Pierce wrote with the hashtag "bury the hatchet." "... No matter what happen we all formed a special bond that can never be broken."

In February 2018, Allen posted his own Instagram photo with Pierce and included an extended review of the 2008 title and his decision to leave, which he noted led to getting "berated, lambasted and had my name smeared."

"You may not want to hear this, but I will always be a Celtic. (Fact). I will always cherish the bonds that I shared with all of my teammates and the people in the city of Boston. (Truth). We all gave everything we had. We all won and we all raised the 2008 NBA Championship banner together," he wrote.

Nearly eight years have passed since he left for Miami, but it sounds like some wounds still need to be healed for a reunion to happen at KG's jersey retirement ceremony. Rivers will be working the phones with hopes of making that reality.

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