In case you missed it, Kevin Garnett hosted a mini reunion on his show “Area 21.” Paul Pierce, Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and Rajon Rondo joined KG to reminisce about the 2008 championship team, talk about their individual NBA careers, and discuss the current state of the league.
On Ray Allen
•When the five former Celtics were introduced, the ‘Inside the NBA’ crew joked about Ray Allen not being present, and promptly started a “Free Ray Allen” chant.
•They were all unusually serious when discussing Ray — Garnett said “the situation is real sensitive.”
•The consensus was that Allen didn’t properly communicate with the team upon signing with the Heat in 2012 — Pierce said he “was hurt how it went down” and Perkins added “It’s on Ray to reach out to us.”
•The relationship between Allen and Doc Rivers soured when Doc replaced Allen with Avery Bradley in the starting lineup.
•Despite Perk’s declaration that Ray needs to contact them, KG insisted Rondo should reach out (which Rondo agreed to do), and he thinks they will eventually reconcile their relationship.
On the Celtics-Bulls 1st Round Series
•The group was happy to see Rondo playing well again during the Chicago-Boston 1st round series.
•Rondo thinks they would have swept the Celtics if he remained healthy, KG and Pierce agreed.
On Doc Rivers
•The former Celtics coach joined Area 21 (remotely) to share some laughs and discuss the 2008 championship season.
•Glen Davis was visibly annoyed when Doc was introduced, and did not clap or laugh when Doc appeared on screen. Big Baby previously criticized Rivers and the Clippers on several ESPN and FS1 hot take shows.
•Doc acknowledged the public criticism, and shared a story how Big Baby once improbably gained weight during a training camp — his strategy was to arrive early for team meals then take a second helping after everyone left.
•They openly discussed and laughed about the ongoing Doc-Rondo beef, and spoke about Rondo throwing throwing a water bottle and breaking the TV during a film session.
•Doc gave Pierce a wheelchair as his retirement gift… Pierce: “That wheelchair came with a ring.”
•On whether Doc would get the invite to the official reunion, Rondo: “Hell no,” Perk: “Yeah Doc’s coming, we inviting Thibs too…” I guess they still need to iron out the guest list.
On the 2008 Championship Season
•Their camaraderie was on full display, they had nothing but positive things to say about the 07-08 season.
•They agreed it was a group of crazy but tough players, and you couldn’t be soft if you wanted to play on that team.
•Training camp in Rome was a crucial step for building team chemistry and establishing the mindset for the season.
•Everybody spoke highly of the Celtics’ organizational culture, and how they struggled to replicate that culture when they played for different franchises.
•Pierce and KG were dissatisfied that James Posey wasn’t re-signed after the championship, and felt similarly when Eddie House and Tony Allen were later let go.
•After the championship, they didn’t believe the Celtics brought in guys that fit with the team culture, and they lost their grit as the roster evolved.
•They discuss how the 2008 team unintentionally started the “super team” trend, and agreed that this team was different because (1) KG and Allen were traded to Boston and (2) they were each at the end of their primes.
On the 2016-2017 Celtics
•They agree this year’s team has the same grit and toughness as their Celtic teams.
•Perkins: “They have a batman, but not a robin.”
•Rondo said C’s definitely would not get swept by the Cavs if they advance.
•Pierce believes the Celtics-Wizards series can go either way, and further talks about how it’s a great matchup that will likely go seven games.
•Widely reported today, Perkins claims Durant and Westbrook have squashed their beef, as they spoke on the phone after Westbrook broke the triple double record. He further speculates that a Durant-OKC reunion is possible.
•Big Baby on the Eastern Conference: “It’s soft as pudding.”
•Big Baby was also highly critical of Chris Paul, and said that he would “run through a wall for Rondo, but not CP3.”
•Pierce on Brandon Jennings’ recent comments on Pierce not deserving a retirement tour: “Shout out to Jennings for being one of the weakest players to talk about me.”
•When Austin Rivers came up in conversation, they immediately broke into laughter and looked at Rondo, who said “I don’t wanna hear about him,” and “everybody goes through stuff”… Does the Rondo-Rivers beef span multiple generations?
•Big Baby describes getting traded from Boston to Orlando “the biggest basketball culture shock of my life,” and goes on to say “You see why organizations are still the way they are.”
•Pierce and Garnett did most of the talking. Perk tried to maintain a “realest guy in the room” image. Davis wasn’t too chatty, but had big opinions when he did talk.
•Rondo doesn’t speak much, but when he does it’s usually to disagree.
•Case in point: Pierce is talking himself up, saying “I think I’m the last person that competed against [Lebron]… the last that wasn’t scared to go toe-to-toe.” Rondo: “You don’t think KD competes against him?”
•Rondo believes the Celtics organization thought his attitude was too dominant for Brad Stevens… but he does praise Stevens’ coaching.
•After the Celtics lost the first round series against the Knicks in 2013, Pierce thought it was his last time playing in Boston (spoiler: he was right).
•Pierce and Garnett discussed getting traded to Brooklyn. They thought others would carry the team, but “it wasn’t the way we thought it would be.” They praised Joe Johnson as a teammate, so clearly they’re going at Deron Williams.
•Perk discussed the 2011 trade to Oklahoma City in detail — he loved being a Celtic, and was crushed when he received the news.
•For whatever reason, Sam Cassell (pictured above) was on set but never got on camera.
•Garnett: “Shouts to Danny Ainge for making all of this possible.”