The 2008 Boston Celtics changed the NBA in a lot of ways that fans today may not realize.
That group, not the LeBron James-led Miami Heat teams that dominated the early 2010s, actually normalized the concept of “super teams.”
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce coming together the way they did to win a title shifted a lot of priorities around the league.
Of course, the championship didn’t just belong to that trio. Point guard Rajon Rondo also played a pivotal role in that group’s success.
Now, more than 15 years later, Rondo’s career is wrapping up and many wonder whether he has done enough to earn himself a Hall of Fame nod.
Pierce delved into that topic on a recent podcast appearance.
“If Chauncey Billups and Kyle Lowry get in, then for sure Rajon Rondo will,” Pierce said.
“Because I look at him on that level with them, and I think they have a legitimate chance to get in. You got guys like Kyle Lowry and Chauncey Billups get in, then I’ll say you gotta put Rondo. He’s on that level with them.”
During that same conversation, Pierce dropped another interesting tidbit.
Generally speaking, the Celtics’ championship Big Three was always thought of as Pierce, Allen and Garnett.
According to Pierce, however – that wasn’t quite the magic trio. Rather it was Pierce, Garnett and Sam Cassell who were Boston’s Big Three in his eyes.
“I remember when Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn’t show up,” Pierce continued.
“I know Ray probably didn’t like Rondo that much, but it wasn’t a fact of not liking somebody. You don’t have to like everybody you play with — it’s a matter of showing support. Rondo probably didn’t like Ray either, but he came to Ray’s functions to show, ‘Hey, we’re together in this.’
“Even the year we won it, after a game we’d say, ‘Let’s go have something to eat and have a night with the older guys.’ We’d get there and it would be me, Kevin, and Sam, but no Ray. In a lot of ways, me, Sam and Kevin were our Big Three.”
Obviously a lot of drama surrounded that Celtics team – and in many ways still does.
It’s a 4-team race for Trae Young if the Hawks decide to trade him. https://t.co/lyKEvKAIRs
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 8, 2023
But their place in NBA lore is beyond reproach at this point.
Pierce, Rondo and the rest of that Boston squad materially changed the way teams would be structured for many years to come.
Whether or not that influence will ultimately earn Rondo a Hall of Fame nod down the road remains to be seen.
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