Last summer Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat as an unrestricted free agent, leaving the Boston Celtics behind. Kevin Garnett didn't take Allen's decision to leave lightly, deleting his phone number and not to shaking Allen's hand when the team's faced off for the first time last season. Now, Garnett and Pierce are members of the Brooklyn Nets, and LeBron James feels there's a double standard with his former teammates. reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
"I think the first thing I thought was 'wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston and now these guys are leaving Boston,'" James said.
"I think it's OK, I didn't mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically (expletive) on Ray for leaving and now they're leaving. That's the nature of our business, man. I don't know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc, KG and Paul did that as well. You can't criticize someone who does something that's best for their family."
The circumstances surrounding how the members of Boston's "Big Three" found their way out of town isn't comparable, however. Allen made the decision on his own, though the Celtics reportedly offered a more lucrative contract to keep him in green. Garnett and Pierce were traded by the team as the organization began working toward a rebuild effort.
The teams play twice in the preseason over the next two weeks. The first time they face each other during the regular season is Nov. 1 in Brooklyn. There has also been talk of the teams debuting "nickname" jerseys in one of the four meetings they have through the 2013-2014 season.