Kevin Garnett hasn't gotten over Ray Allen's decision to leave the Boston Celtics via free agency in 2012. According to the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde, the two haven't had any communication since the departure:
'No,' Allen says when asked if he's talked with Garnett over the last two years.
Has he tried?
'No, no,' he says.
Hyde notes that, "when [Allen] went down the Celtics bench before his first game with the Heat against them last season, Garnett famously refused to shake hands or even look at him."
Apparently little has changed. Little except uniforms, of course. Garnett is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets after a trade extricated him (and teammate Paul Pierce) from the rebuilding Boston Celtics. The change of scenery hasn't done much to change KG's feelings toward Allen.
The two won a title together in 2008. In total, Allen spent five seasons with the Celtics. Garnett was there for six.
But the two left on very different terms, as explained by CSNNE.com's Jimmy Toscano:
It's not often that you can see past a player's jersey, but in the case of Pierce and KG, C's fans certainly can cheer them on wherever they go. The same might not be said for Ray Allen, whose departure from Boston went a little differently. Someday, Celtics fans - and former teammates - might be able to get over how things ended for Allen in Boston. In short, he didn't like the way things were for him in Boston, and as a free agent took less money to go to the rival Heat - leaving Pierce, KG, and everybody else in the process.
Now Garnett and Allen are facing each other in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with the reigning champion Miami Heat pushing for another title against rookie head coach Jason Kidd and his very expensive roster. The 38-year-old Garnett isn't the impact player he used to be, but the Nets will need more contributions from him against Miami and its thin front line.
If there's a knock against the Heat, it's that they don't have much in the way of interior depth. In theory, Garnett should be able to exploit that. In practice, he may just not have that much left in the tank.
Meanwhile, Allen has settled into his sixth-man role quite well. Last season, he hit a historic three-pointer to steal Game 6 from the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. He also got off to a scorching start against the Nets in Game 1, scoring 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.
Garnett was held scoreless.
The Heat will need more of the same from the 38-year-old going forward. He still ranks as the team's best perimeter threat and helps space the floor for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who do much of their best work slashing through the lane.
As for the grudge between these two, there's no telling when that will come to an end. It may not be until one or both of them retire from the game. But at some point you have to imagine cooler heads will prevail and strike a more conciliatory relationship.
Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.
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