You’d think two former Boston Celtics players would have nothing but respect for each other.
You might think that. But it’s a little different when one of those guys is Rajon Rondo.
Rondo, the former Celtics point guard, was asked in a press conference recently his thoughts on a former teammate of his, Ray Allen, retiring. Here’s what he had to say:
Rajon Rondo on Ray Allen's retirement announcement: "I thought he'd been retired."
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) November 1, 2016
Wow. Just wow. That’s icy.
Some serious disrespect for the all-time 3-point king right there.
For real though. Rondo is right on this one. Allen hadn’t played since the 2013-2014 season. He played for the Miami Heat and had career lows in just about every category. And he’s old. He’s 41 now. He didn’t play in 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and he wasn’t on a roster. That’d be like if Mark Bellhorn came out and announced his retirement tomorrow. He didn’t need to announce it formally. We knew he was done.
The plot thickens though. Paul Pierce talked about Rondo and Allen’s relationship with ESPN in 2015. Here’s what he had to say.
“It was a weird relationship,” he said. “We were all good friends on the court, but Ray always did his own thing. That’s just the way Ray was. Even when we were playing together, we’d be having a team dinner and Ray wouldn’t show up. We’d go to his charity events but Ray wouldn’t show up to somebody else’s.
“I called him on it. I said, ‘Man, Ray, we support all your stuff but when we ask you, you don’t come to ours.’ I remember when Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn’t show up.
“I know Ray probably didn’t like Rondo that much, but it wasn’t a fact of not liking somebody. You don’t have to like everybody you play with — it’s a matter of showing support.
“Rondo probably didn’t like Ray either, but he came to Ray’s functions to show, ‘Hey, we’re together in this.’
“It’s not a bad thing with Ray. We had a great relationship on the court. But even the year we won it, after a game we’d say, ‘Let’s go have something to eat and have a night with the older guys.’ We’d get there and it would be me, Kevin and Sam (Cassell), but no Ray. In a lot of ways, me, Sam and Kevin were our Big Three.
“It just got to the point where it was, ‘That’s Ray.’ No hard feelings. Everyone made such a big deal of us not talking after we left, but there really wasn’t much there.”
Weird. You know, I would have expected KG to be the guy everyone hated. But apparently, that wasn’t it.
OK, so Ray Allen probably wasn’t the best teammate. But hey, pro athletes are like anyone else. Some of them are good people, some of them aren’t bad, then some suck as human beings. Can’t expect them all to like each other and it doesn’t take away from what Allen did on the court.
Still… Icy for Rondo to say that.