Without Ray Allen, there is no party.
That's something the 2008 Boston Celtics need to understand, as they plan a 10-year anniversary destination vacation.
Rajon Rondo is running the trip, which, according to ESPN's Marc Spears, will be at an undisclosed international location. Rondo talked with Spears recently about not inviting Allen, referencing Allen's decision to "go with the enemy" when he left the Celtics to sign with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2012. Rondo didn't have the best relationship with Allen, but the former C's point guard implied to Spears that he was just following orders from "a couple of the other vets" when deciding not to extend the invite to Allen.
It's not a stretch to believe "the other vets" that Rondo was referring to are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The breakup of the "Big Three" was well-documented, and clearly the bad blood — from the Celtics' side at least — still exists.
But as much as I love watching Pierce and Garnett continue to bleed green, they look awfully foolish in this situation. Because without Allen, there wouldn't even be a championship party to attend. For there would be no championship.
Heck, without Allen, Garnett might have never even been a Celtic.
One week before the 2007 NBA draft, Garnett agent Andy Miller told ESPN's Chris Sheridan that "the Boston trade isn't happening," after the Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly agreed in principle to a trade. Garnett wanted it to be known that, if the trade went through, he would not sign an extension to stay in Boston after the 2007-08 season. His agent told ESPN, "If a trade were to happen, that's not a destination that we're interested in pursuing."
A week after the Celtics' initial attempt to acquire Garnett fell through, they traded the No. 5 overall pick to Seattle on draft night for Allen.
All of a sudden, Boston wasn't such a terrible place to play. And one month later, Garnett had a change of heart, agreeing to sign an extension to stay in Boston longterm, which finalized his trade to the Celtics.
It was Allen who forced that change of heart.
Garnett joined forces with Pierce and Allen to form the Celtics' new "Big Three." And they went on to win the 2008 NBA Championship and make another NBA Finals appearance in 2010.
In the summer of 2012, Allen turned down an offer from the Celtics and signed with the rival Miami Heat. Allen won a championship in his first season with Miami. It's a move that clearly still infuriates Pierce and Garnett.
But perhaps they're forgetting what Allen meant to their five-year run in Boston. Without him, there's no championship. Not just because he wouldn't be knocking down 3-pointers in green. But also because, without him, Garnett would have never accepted a trade to Boston. And also, without him, who knows how Pierce would have reacted to another losing season, especially after how he expressed his frustrations with the organization's rebuild to the Globe's Jackie MacMullan during the 2006-07 season?
Without Allen, not only would Garnett never have been a Celtic, but it sounded like Pierce might have wanted a trade out of Boston that summer. Then what?
There would be no 2008 Championship. That's for sure.
It helped that Allen was an All-Star, of course. But before he even played a game with the Celtics, his mere presence on the roster was enough to keep Pierce around and convince Garnett to join them.
I'd say that's worth an invite to the party. In fact, come to think of it, nobody deserves one more than him.
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