During his weekly appearance on Toucher and Rich Danny Ainge commented on the likelihood of the Celtics retiring the jersey numbers of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen:
Celtics President of Basketball Ops. Danny Ainge wasn’t present when the team honored Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on Sunday, but said both players will likely be joining the 22 other Celtics greats whose number hangs in the Garden rafters.
Pierce’s #34 and Garnett’s #5 will, at some point, be retired with the rest of the best, cementing their legacies with the franchise.
Ray Allen on the other hand?
“I’m not sure yet. I don’t know the answer to that,” Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday.
Ainge said the decision to retire a player’s number will come down to the C’s ownership group. He did admit that the way things ended with Allen, with the sharpshooter taking less money from Boston’s chief rival at the time, the Miami Heat, will likely play a role in that decision.
“I think that’s obviously somewhat of a factor. But I think time heals those hurts, and logic will take over,” said Ainge. “The question is did he play long enough and that kind of thing? There are a lot of great Celtics in history, and Ray Allen is certainly one of them. I know there will be consideration and discussion about that happening. We’ll see.”
Ainge is right. Time does heal all wounds. Even a vindictive bastard like myself will soften on Ray Allen.
But… will we soften up enough to the point where #20 gets hoisted into the rafters?
Danny also mentioned time spent in Boston. Ray played 5 seasons here, only one fewer than Kevin Garnett. Is that one season the tipping point?
Without Garnett, there is no championship. Period. If we substitute a good shooting guard for Ray Allen, does Boston win a title? I think it’s possible.
Of course, one could argue that KG never would have agreed to a trade here if not for the acquisition of Allen.
This is certain, Ray Allen will learn of Ainge’s comments and it will piss him off. Because if there’s one thing we learned about Ray during his time here, it’s that the small stuff gets to him.