NBA championship teams often need great chemistry to be the last team standing in any given season. However, the 2008 Celtics title roster had their fair share of bumpy relationships during the height of their success.
Infamously among those who went through their ups and downs in Boston were Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. The backcourt duo played for the Celtics from 2007 to ’12 and were crucial pieces on the ’08 championship roster, but a rift reportedly existed between the two All-Stars during the latter stages of their time together.
The beef supposedly got so bad, that they even tried to relieve the tension by boxing one another.
In an appearance on “The Old Man & The Three” podcast with JJ Redick, former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins revealed that he and the rest of the team urged Rondo and Allen to strap on some gloves and settle their differences physically.
”When things started to go south, in my opinion, the first incident was when Ray was pushing so hard to trade Rondo for [Chris Paul],” Perkins said. “It got back to Rondo. Right there we started having a little friction. We made Ray and Rondo actually box it out. They had so much beef we got to the practice facility, we brought the boxing gloves and they actually had to box it out because we didn’t want to the tension no more.”
Perkins neglected to reveal when the supposed match took place, or who won, but the thought of two of the NBA’s best going at it in the ring is almost unfathomable.
Ultimately, the organized bout didn’t help repair the rift as Allen left for the Heat in free agency during the summer of 2012. The move left a sour taste in the mouths of many of the sharpshooter’s former teammates, considering Miami had eliminated Boston in a hotly contested, seven-game series in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.
Over time, the ’08 Celtics have been able to rebuild bridges and mend fractured relationships, much to the delight of fans who relished in their past success. Allen was present at TD Garden when the franchise retired Kevin Garnett’s jersey earlier this year and the duo joined up with Paul Pierce for a picture at the NBA’s celebration of the top 75 players in the league’s history.
“I’m glad we got it back together now,” Perkins said on the podcast. “Ray, you saw him at the Boston game, he went and supported [Kevin Garnett]. Everybody’s back on talking terms.”
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