Tensions have lingered among the Celtics’ 2008 championship team after Ray Allen, center, defected to the rival Heat during the summer of 2012. Former Celtics head coach says he feels bad about the fractured bunch.
“As years have gone on, things have been fractured, and I hate it. I hate seeing it,” Rivers said
Tuesday while in Boston for the annual ABCD Hoop Dreams fundraiser that he runs with current Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “I would love this [to be a] celebration for Ray. Not a lot to say here about it. Ray won us a title. He really did.
“I think he should be celebrated. I think he should be celebrated in Boston. He’s responsible for that banner. If I had one wish, I wish I could do a better job of getting that group back together. I can get a lot of them back together; I just can’t get the whole group. They really should be because they were so close, and it really hurts me to see what’s going on.”
Doc Rivers on Ray Allen + 2008 Celtics: "Things have been fractured and I hate it. I hate seeing it. I would love this [Hall of Fame week to be a] celebration for Ray. … Ray won us a title. He really did. I think he should be celebrated. He should be celebrated in Boston.” pic.twitter.com/2lzfMF0rCh
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) September 5, 2018
Allen and Paul Pierce talked last summer, but it did little to ease tensions that have lingered between Allen and former teammates Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.
Allen told The Athletic this week that he does not expect to get congratulatory messages on his induction from many of his former Boston teammates.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 5, 2018
Rivers isn’t certain he’ll ever get Allen and Rondo to mend fences.
“I’ve tried, I can tell you that,” Rivers said. “It’s a lot of little things. Here’s the thing: You have two Hall of Fame guys as far as their competitiveness. The reason that Ray was who he is, Rondo was who he is, Kevin, Paul — I think Paul has done the right thing as far as throwing out the olive branch. [But] it’s also why we were really good is why they don’t get along: very stubborn, very tough, very competitive and no one wants to give in.
“The phrase I used to use a thousand times in arguments with the team: ‘It’s about getting it right, not who is right.’ I hope we can get that right because they are all probably right in whatever they are saying in some way or form, but they need to get it right and get together.”
You can’t get everyone to get along. They’re grown men, let them figure it out.