- (Photograph: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Some NBA veterans are publicly expressing disappointment after some of their teammates decided to leave them during the most recent 2011-2012 offseason.
Ray Allen, former Boston Celtics shooting guard who helped the team acquire a championship in 2008 and make it to the NBA finals in 2010, decided to leave the team after the 2011-2012 season. Allen, 37, became a free agent at the end of last season and decided to reject a two-year $12 million offer from the Celtics to join the championship-winning Miami Heat for a three-year contract at $3 million per season.
Now that the NBA season is fast approaching, the Celtics veterans are ready to speak out against Allen's decisions. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are two forwards that formed a "big three" with Allen to bring the Celtics a ring in 2008.
Pierce said he was shocked that Allen opted out of attempting to accomplish the same feat with his former teammates.
"I thought we would finish our careers together, me, Kevin, and Ray. It was very surprising, him going to Miami," Pierce said in an ESPN report Friday. "...I wish he could have went to the Clippers if he was going anywhere. But he went to our Eastern Conference rivals."
Garnett, Boston Celtics power forward, admitted that he no longer spoke to Allen after the star three-point shooter decided to leave their team. While Garnett said he was once close to Allen and his family, he admitted that he no longer had any interest in communicating with his former teammate.
"I don't have Ray's number anymore," Garnett said during the Celtics' media day Friday. "I'm not trying to communicate. I'm just being honest with everybody in here. ... It's just what it is."
However, the Celtics veterans weren't the only players feeling burned by their former teammates choices to leave their team. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks power forward, admitted that he was frustrated to hear that his team's point guard Jason Kidd decided to join the New York Knicks after helping him earn a championship during the 2010-2011 season.
While Kidd became a free agent at the close of last season, Nowitzki said he was frustrated because the veteran point guard led the Mavericks to believe that he would return for the 2012-2013 season.
"He didn't call me. I had no reception in Africa where I was. So I only checked my phone once a day," Nowitzki said in a Dallas Morning News report. "On the day before, he said he was coming, and I think that's what (owner) Mark (Cuban) was a little upset about. He basically said he's coming back and a day later said he wasn't coming. It was frustrating."
The 2012-2013 NBA season is scheduled to begin on October 30.