Why Kevin Garnett squash his long-standing beef with Ray Allen? Exploring Celtics legend’s feud to forgiveness

At Kevin Garnett’s number retirement ceremony, the highlight wasn’t just seeing his No. 5 jersey in the rafters of TD Garden, but the reunion of the Celtics’ Big 3. Garnett and Ray Allen had previously been at odds, but they put their animosity aside as Garnett welcomed Allen to the ceremony with a warm embrace.

Even Paul Pierce joined in on the hug. This was a significant moment, as many former Celtics had criticized Allen for leaving in 2012. Garnett declared that Allen was “next” and the crowd cheered. It was a heartwarming sight to see the former teammates reconcile.

How did Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen’s beef start?

The 2008 Boston Celtics, who won the franchise’s 17th NBA title, have had a lingering feud with former teammate Ray Allen since he left for the Miami Heat in 2012. Kevin Garnett lost Allen’s number and ignored him whenever they crossed paths, while Paul Pierce was hurt that Allen didn’t inform the team before leaving.

Allen did not attend Pierce’s number retirement due to the tension between them. However, their relationship has gradually improved over the years, and they were seen together at this year’s NBA All-Star Game. The trio even posed for a picture with genuine smiles on their faces.

What caused Kevin Garnett to reconcile his beef with Ray Allen?

During an episode of Kevin Hart’s “Cold as Balls” show, Kevin Garnett opened up about how Kobe Bryant’s death made him realize that it was time to end his beef with Ray Allen. “The passing of Kobe and all of us getting older helped me understand that life is not given to none of us,” Garnett said. “It would have f**ked with me if something were to happen to Ray, and I didn’t get a chance to amend this,” Garnett revealed that he would be devastated if something happened to Allen and they never had the chance to reconcile.

Garnett and Bryant had many battles on the court during the early part of their careers, but they were friends off the court. When Bryant tragically passed away in 2020, Garnett was one of the players who was deeply affected by the tragedy.

Kevin Garnett

He further stated – “I ain’t going to front, man, since Kobe died, it’s been like upside down,” Garnett told the Associated Press. “2020 has been (awful), so I’ve just been trying to maintain and appreciating some of the small intangible things and actually enjoying life a little bit or trying to and be productive.”

What if Celtics hadn’t signed Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen?

Before the 2007-08 NBA season, the Boston Celtics could have continued to build around their young talent instead of trading for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. While this would have meant no championship in the immediate future, they could have emerged as an up-and-coming team in the league.

Paul Pierce may have been traded to a contender for prospects, expiring contracts, and draft picks, leaving Al Jefferson to replace him as the franchise player. The starting lineup could have consisted of Ryan Gomes and Chinese forward Yi Jianlian at forward, Jefferson at the center, and Delonte West and Rajon Rondo at the guard spots, with a bench including Wally Szczerbiak, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Gerald Green, and Sebastian Telfair.

With a team full of inexperienced youngsters, the Celtics would likely have finished with one of the worst records in the league. They could have lucked out and won the 2008 draft lottery, but without Garnett and Allen, it’s uncertain if they would have been able to turn things around as quickly as they did. Doc Rivers may still have his job, but the Celtics would have had a very different trajectory.

Tahsin Tahmid

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Tahsin Tahmid is a part of the editorial panel of Sports Zion. As a sports and art-loving person, he has the vision to provide authentic information. Being an optimist, he hopes to bring the world closer by spreading love. The NFL is Tahmid's favorite league, and following it, he is a massive fan of Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. On the other hand, when it comes to the NBA, Tahsin loves watching LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo perform.


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