Rajon Rondo is putting together a reunion celebration for the Boston Celtics 2008 championship team. He plans on inviting the players who were members of that team.
Except one — Ray Allen, who was a star guard for that squad and part of the "Big 3" players who helped bring the Celtics their first title in more than 20 years by beating the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Allen averaged 17.4 points for that team while sharing the spotlight with other stars, including Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rondo.
But when asked by the Undefeated if Allen was going to be included in the celebration planned for this summer, Rondo said: "I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake."
Rondo, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls, indicated he and other members of that Celtics team weren't happy with the way Allen left in 2012 to join the Miami Heat. Allen won an NBA title with LeBron James and company in 2013.
"It just wasn't the greatest separation," Rondo said. "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.
"The mind-set we had. The guys on our team. You wouldn't do anything like that. It makes you question that series in the Finals.… Who were you for? You didn't bleed green. People think [Allen and I] had a messed-up relationship. It's not the greatest. But it's not just me. I called and reached out to a couple of other vets and asked them what they wanted to do with the situation. They told me to stick with what we got [without Allen]."
Rondo said if the rest of the players he talked to had wanted to include Allen, "I would have went with the team, with the group."
The Undefeated quoted an unnamed player from the championship team who agreed with Rondo and the reason why. Pierce did not comment on this situation but last year described Allen's departure to Miami as "betrayal."
But Leon Powe, a member of the 2008 Celtics, was surprised to learn from the Undefeated about Allen's exclusion and said he'd prefer to have all the players from that team present.
Rondo said the only player besides Allen that he hasn't invited is Powe, but he hopes to locate the retired forward-center to have him join the celebration.
"This is going to an out-of-the-country thing at an undisclosed location," Rondo said. "We're going to get it together, enjoy life, reflect and check on each other. Next year will be the 10-year reunion, but I'm going to do it this summer."