By Dan Feldman
It can be a little difficult keeping track of the feuds among the members of the Boston Celtics’ last title team.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce don’t like Ray Allen. Doc Rivers reportedly tried to fight Rajon Rondo. Rondo said he “didn’t feel anything” when Garnett and Pierce were traded.
But between Garnet and Rondo, it’s all love.
Garnett, via Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:
“It’s always good to see your little brother, man,” Garnett said before Thursday’s game. “I worry about his health. I know he wants to play. I know he wants to help that team. I try to keep an eye out for the young boys [in Boston], just to see how they’re doing.
“I know he’s eager to play, and I know he’s eager to get back out. My only concern is always health-wise. Rondo knows his body, he knows himself. I’m just glad he’s still able to fulfill his dream and play the game that he loves. Anytime, that’s first and foremost. Everything else is secondary.”
“Absolutely,” Garnett said when asked if Rondo being on the court will make his return to Boston mean even more. “That’s a little brother, man. We all grew together. When we grew, it wasn’t something we did minimally. We all gave all of ourselves to each other, and we grew in that. That connection, you grow with it through time, and it’s one of them connections that you look at as forever.
“That’s my little brother. I love Rondo. He knows that, and I would do anything for him. All in all, I’m just happy that he’s back, and I’m just happy he’s able to be healthy and continue to be able to do one of the things he does best.”
Garnett and Pierce will return to Boston for the first time as Nets on Sunday, and with Rondo healthy, most of the old gang will be participating in the game, and that will make the night even more special.
It’s great Garnett has such a strong bond with Rondo. They won a championship together, and seeing up close the amount of sacrifice it takes to reach that level certainly brought them closer.
But I can’t read that quote – “it’s one of them connections that you look at as forever” – without thinking about Ray Allen, whom Garnett has feuded with the last couple years. Why wasn’t that connection forever?
Garnett surely has his reasons, and he’s entitled to them. That the relationship between him and Rondo has survived Garnett switching teams, especially comparatively, says a lot about how close those two are.