Back when Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics for the Miami Heat via free agency, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who thought they still had a year left where they could seriously challenge for the championship, were upset that Allen left town and voiced their displeasure.
Recently, when the Heat were in town to take on the Brooklyn Nets in a preseason game, LeBron James, who took quite a bit of flack himself when he left the Cleveland Cavs, lashed out at KG and Pierce and called them hypocrites for criticizing Allen, but then leaving Boston themselves.
KG and Pierce clearly felt LeBron was way off base. KG said that he needs to stay out of old Celtic business and a stunned Pierce simply questioned, “I left Boston?” Implying that he was traded and didn’t leave via free agency.
“Paul and Kevin were traded,” Rivers said on “The Dan LeBatard Show” on Wednesday. “They were traded. Paul was traded whether he wanted to be or not. Kevin was the only one who had to agree to be traded even though he had already been traded. He had to agree to the trade. That’s completely different.”
Rivers has also been criticized for orchestrating his departure from Boston. He thinks the Heat have a better argument there.
“You could make more of a case for me leaving than on Paul and Kevin,” an animated Rivers said before reiterating that Pierce’s and Garnett’s situation is “completely different” from Allen’s.
People bring up the fact that KG said he would retire in Boston and the fact that he could have vetoed the deal. However, they are failing to acknowledge the fact that the Celtics were clearly in sell mode, he still felt like he could play basketball, and by vetoing the deal, he would probably hurt the long term prospects of the Celtics.
That’s a situation where most players, even ones that have expressed a desire to retire with that team, would probably have done the same thing and not vetoed the deal. Honestly, there aren’t too many players that want to finish out their careers on a mediocre, or bad, team where the front offices blames him for blocking a deal that helps the future of the club.
So I think Rivers has a point. Paul and KG were traded, it isn’t like Allen’s situation.