The moment many basketball fans were waiting for came with about two minutes left in the first quarter of the Celtics’ season-opening game in Miami Tuesday.
Ray Allen, the former Celtic now playing for the Heat, checked into the game and approached the Celtics’ bench to greet some of his former teammates. After hugging coach Doc Rivers and shaking hands with several others on the bench, he reached out and tapped forward Kevin Garnett on the shoulder.
Garnett’s reaction? Let’s just say frosty. Garnett stared straight ahead and did not acknowledge Allen.
A war of words has been waged since Allen’s departure. Though the Celtics offered him a deal to stay in Boston, Allen accepted less money to play in Miami because he was dissatisfied with his role and had a rocky relationship with guard Rajon Rondo.
His reception by his former team was highly anticipated and the subject of much debate in the days prior to the opener.
Allen hit a 3-pointer, his signature shot, in his first attempt after checking into the game. During a trip to the free throw line, Miami fans chanted his name.
In a television interview after the game, Allen suggested Garnett did not see him.
“That’s just KG. I love those guys. I can’t say enough good things about them,” Allen said.