Trade rumors can tear teams apart if players aren't careful. A particularly explosive rumor nearly did that to the 2008 Boston Celtics, almost breaking a team that had won the NBA Finals.
According to Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics were considering making a run for Chris Paul. It would've meant trading away guard Rajon Rondo; however, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett weren't willing to lose their teammate.
Ray Allen, on the other hand, was all for it. Once word got back to Rondo, things blew up in the locker room to the point where the team made them fight it out.
"Rondo ended up finding out about [Allen wanting to trade him] and that was it from there," Perkins told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "To the point where we brought boxing gloves to the gym and they got on boxing gloves, Ray and Rondo, like they put on the gloves. We made them box it out for like two rounds."
Perkins says the team used to have fights all the time. In hindsight, it doesn't seem too farfetched given the intensity and personalities of Garnett, Rondo, Pierce and Allen.
Yet this was also the same team coached by Doc Rivers, who preached togetherness and used the South African concept of "ubuntu" as a rallying cry.
Perkins believes Rondo never got over the trade rumors and the idea of Allen wanting him out.
Allen would end up leaving the Celtics in 2012 to play with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. Pierce and Garnett were traded to the Brooklyn Nets a year later. Rondo went last, hanging on with Boston until the team sent him to the Dallas Mavericks in 2014 with Dwight Powell for Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and two draft picks.