MILWAUKEE - Having spent three successful seasons with the Boston Celtics, Marquis Daniels became close with both Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. He’s watched the back-and-forth unfold between Rondo, the Celtics and Allen ever since Allen decided to leave Boston over the summer to join the rival Miami Heat. In Daniels’ eyes, the deteriorated bond all around has been overly exaggerated.
“That’s basketball, man,” Daniels told RealGM on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. “You’re going to get into it with some brothers at some point throughout the season. It doesn’t matter. I mean, you’re not going to like everybody every second.
Still, it’s unmistakable that Allen took issue with how his role had been disintegrating across his final season with the Celtics. He attempted 10.7 shots per game last year – the lowest mark since his rookie season. And with Rondo’s ascent as the Celtics’ centerpiece, Allen spurned the organization in free agency to take a reserved role on the Heat.
Daniels has a strong understanding of how the Celtics’ locker room had operated over the past three seasons, and he admits Rondo and Allen had their differences at times. But he was adamant that it has been the media that’s led to the war of words escalating between both Celtics players and Allen.
“That’s who makes [this] blow out of proportion – the media,” Daniels said. “I blame the media making it bigger than what it is. I don’t think the relationship [between Rondo and Allen] is that bad. If they hated each other, they would’ve been fighting.”
Daniels wanted so badly to play well against his former team in his return to Boston on Friday night. He struggled mightily, missing all five shot attempts in 10 minutes of action. A day later, Daniels acknowledged facing his old teammates was “awkward” but satisfying because of the Bucks’ 99-88 win.
“It was really weird playing against those guys,” he said. “They were my brothers. But it’s great to get a win no matter who we’re playing.”
The Bucks find themselves 2-0 just a few days into the season; for now, as the class of the Central division. Daniels understands the grind of this full 82-game schedule, and while Milwaukee was overlooked heading into the season, he has confidence in the Bucks’ playoff chase and their ability to surprise many around the NBA.
“It’s a great opportunity for us, being [the underdogs],” Daniels said. “There are a bunch of young guys here, a bunch of veteran presence. I think we’ve got a great chance of making the playoffs and getting a good run in.”