Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ray Allen details feuds with Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers in new tell-all book

Former Celtic Ray Allen is set to release his tell-all book, "From the Outside: My Journey through Life and the Game I Love", where he reveals details of what transpired between him, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo (of course), and the Celtics organization.

According to Sporting News, that got an early look at Allen's book, the rift between Allen and Rondo started after the 2008 championship season when the two were supposedly nearly traded to the Suns for Amar'e Stoudemire in 2009. Allen says Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge had problems with Rondo and it was the trade talks between Boston and Phoenix that ultimately triggered Allen to encourage Rondo to sort things out with Ainge before it was too late.

Allen says their relationship wasn't the same after that and when Boston was ready to move on from Rondo before the start of the lockout season in 2011, it was because the Celtics organization had also had it with Rondo and wanted him out of town. But Chris Paul's unwillingness to commit to the Celtics long-term was the biggest reason the trade never materialized.
"Before the start of the 2011-12 season, during the NBA's lockout there were discussions that Rondo would be traded to New Orleans for Chris Paul, but the possibility of the deal fell through, according to reports at the time, because Paul would not commit to signing with Boston when he became a free agent the following summer."
Allen exposes a lot of stories that happened during his time in Boston. One of which highlights an early conversations he had with Garnett before a preseason game in Rome.

While dribbling a basketball in the locker room -- something that was a part of Allen's pregame ritual throughout his career -- Garnett supposedly told Allen to stop dribbling the ball.
"No, you're not going to do," Garnett said to Allen. "You can't tell me what to do," Allen remembered responding. "You can do what you do, and I do what I do," Allen said. 
Allen also talked about a time him and Garnett went out to eat and when he asked for the check Garnett said, "No. I tip way better than him, so you better give me the check."
"There was no point in arguing with the guy," Allen writes. "What struck me was that he felt the need to be seen as being superior to me, even in something as petty as this."

Still, there was no one like Garnett on the basketball court.
"If I had to choose only one to play with, it would be Kevin Garnett," Allen said. "No one else comes close."
But when Allen dives deep into what happened to his relationship with Rondo and the Celtics between after the championship season and the end of 2012, that's when the book gets juicy. Beforehand, Allen viewed Rondo as a sibling to him and says the two had a great bond.
"I couldn't have gotten along with him any better," Allen said about the 2007-08 season. "He was like a little brother to me."
But that was short-lived.

One of the biggest arguments between Allen and Rondo happened in a team meeting during the 2010-11 season when Rondo said he carried the Celtics to a title in 2008 while insinuating his teammates had issues with him.
"The rest of the team, almost in unison, responded, 'You what?" Allen recalled when Rondo made his claim of carrying his team to a title. "None of us had issues with you," Allen told Rondo, and according to Allen, Rondo responded, "You did, too. You told me I was the reason we were going to be traded." 
Unsure exactly when it happened, Rondo turned on Allen completely -- on and off the court. And according to Ray, the organization gave Rondo the keys to lead the team and call the shots, one that Rondo didn't quite earn, in Allen's opinion.
"Coach Doc Rivers asked Garnett and Allen to "let [Rondo] into the circle," but Allen told Rivers, "We can't make him a leader, Doc. He has to earn it."
Rondo all of a sudden wasn't finding Allen for the same open looks that he did throughout the first season, according to Ray. And that's when things got worst.

Allen says Rondo even went as far as threatening to get Ray out of town during a game in Indiana back in April 2012 -- a sore subject for the veteran sharp-shooter, who had just dodged a swap with Memphis that year -- one that would have sent Allen to the Grizzlies in exchange for shooting guard O.J. Mayo. It was a deal that was so close to completion that Ainge himself called Allen to let him know that he had just been dealt, but the deal was never finalized.
"I'm going to get your ass out of here this summer," Rondo told Allen, after accusing Allen of being jealous of him. 
And after Allen approached Rondo on the Celtics' team plane to patch things up, Rondo instead turned to Allen and told him, "I got 11 games to play with you, and that's it." The two barely spoke to each other the rest of the season -- one that ended in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, which was the last time Allen played in a Celtics uniform.

Allen even went as far as to say that the biggest reason -- second to Chris Paul not willing to sign a contract extension -- why the trade with New Orleans fell through was because Doc Rivers, who coached Monty Williams, viewed himself as a mentor to Williams and didn't want to "do that to him." Although Rivers didn't want New Orleans' head coach to have to carry the burden of coaching Rondo, he was willing to keep his All-Star point guard in the driver's seat while the Celtics tried to string together another run at capturing its second title in four seasons.
"So let me see if I got this straight," Allen wrote. "You want to pay me less money. You want to bring me off the bench. You want to continue to run the offense around Rondo. Now tell me again exactly why I would want to sign this contract?"
Allen's book, "From the Outside: My Journey through Life and and the Game I love," will be released on March 27.

Josue Pavon

Photo used is courtesy of Getty Images

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