- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett said he has not communicated with Ray Allen since the veteran guard signed with the rival Miami Heat this offseason -- and Garnett stressed it is his choice.
"I don't have Ray's number anymore," Garnett said at 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.
Pressed on why he cut off contact with Allen, Garnett added, "I choose not to. I choose -- that's a choice I personally made. I told you all, I'm very close to Ray. I know his family. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family. I'm just making a choice on my own. That's all."
Garnett, who signed a three-year, $36 million contract extension this offseason, suggested he was not upset with Allen's decision to leave the Celtics, but clearly wasn't thrilled with it after Boston reassembled its core after losing to Miami in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"When a guy makes a decision based on him and his family, you can't ever get upset at that," Garnett said. "My personal feeling, I won't put into it. The only thing I'll say is I wish Ray the best. That's where it's at."
Paul Pierce, who along with Allen and Garnett made up the Celtics' Big Three, was surprised Allen left for Miami.
"I thought we would finish our careers together, me, Kevin, and Ray," Pierce said Friday. "It was very surprising, him going to Miami. But, you know Ray. He's a grown-up. He has to make a decision that he feels is best for his family, for himself. I wish he could have went to the Clippers if he was going anywhere. But he went to our Eastern Conference rivals. But as you all know, Ray likes to golf. Maybe that factored into his reasoning. Maybe he didn't like the golfing in Boston in the winter. Who knows?"
Garnett said he's more concerned about the guys on the Celtics' roster, not the ones off it.
"I'm focusing on (Jason Terry) and Courtney Lee, the new guys that are here," Garnett said. "I wasn't going to come here and answer a bunch of Ray Allen questions, I was going to answer one time and then focus on what's right here in this gym, what's present. And that's where I'm at."
Informed of coach Doc Rivers' suggestion that he wants the Celtics to beat the Heat, Garnett said he wouldn't focus on one team.
"It's not just the Heat, but everybody," Garnett said. "The goal here is to win (a championship). And whoever is in the way of that is in the way. If it's not Miami, if it's not whoever, it's the whole league. Obviously (the Heat) won it and they are the defending champions. I respect that. Along that road to the goal, whoever is in the way is in the way. It's not just one particular team."
Pierce said Garnett had told him he was toying with the idea of retirement last season, but Garnett laughed it off, saying he never used the word "retire" with Pierce. Garnett did give thought to hanging up his high-tops after last season.
"I did give it some real thought," Garnett said. "With free agency coming up, I didn't want to think about another team or anything like that. My retirement, obviously, would have been a personal decision, based on family and whatever reasons I have. My No. 1 reason for coming back, obviously, was Doc. Doc being here is huge; I enjoy playing for him. The guys, the city, the fans here are by far the best fans that I've ever been a part of.
"All that stuck with me, along with family motivation and other things of that such, and just still being able (to compete), too. You want to be in position to still contribute, to still give something. I don't know how (Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) talked me into three years, but I'm enjoying my journey here. I know that sounds lame and kinda cheesy, but coming here and preparing, doing what I love, all those put together, is why I'm here."
8dEthan Sherwood Strauss