The Lakers legends, the former 76ers stars, the Oakland betoken guards — Jason Kidd, Damian Lillard, and Gary Payton — were among the groups gathering for photo opportunities. One photo that made it to only Pierce’due south phone was 1 of himself, Garnett, and Allen, all grin.

On February. 21, Pierce posted 10 photos from the issue on Instagram. Pierce included the Big 3 photo sixth, forcing his followers to await through about the entire gallery before finding the precious stone.

“That was intentional,” Pierce said. “I wanted to warm everybody up and so when they got to that one, they [were] like, ‘oh! Wow!’ That was the 1 everybody commented about.”

Information technology was the outset sign that the sectionalization was dissipating, that Garnett was warming up. The 15-time All-Star doesn’t practice annihilation by accident or only to exist polite; he took that photograph, and smiled, considering he knew how important the reunification was to Celtics fans and even themselves.

Ray Allen sounds happy to have reconnected with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty

Allen admitted he was injure past all the friction. He signed with the Heat equally a business determination. He felt it was time to move on afterwards information technology appeared he would be playing backside Avery Bradley and Jason Terry if he accepted that two-year contract offer at the 11th hour from Danny Ainge.

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“That was a good moment for us, All-Star Weekend,” Allen said. “[Garnett] and I actually exchanged messages the calendar week after. I knew at least he was moving in the direction of letting bygones be bygones. Once I knew nosotros were talking and I was going to be on his show, when I had time. I wasn’t worried about it.”

Those moments of disregard after Allen signed with Miami affected him, including when he attempted to slap easily with the Celtics’ demote players in their opening night matchup in Oct 2012. Rivers cooperated. Garnett ignored him.

“The first game that we played, when he wouldn’t shake my mitt in Miami, I didn’t want that feeling anymore,” Allen said. “That was a terrible feeling. [Only] I wasn’t worried near that anymore. I knew that once we got to the [the back room at TD Garden], this was a moment to celebrate him, let him know I was hither to support him.”

Allen and Garnett didn’t come across during their years in the NBA. They were both prep standouts in South Carolina, and met every bit teenagers.

“I don’t think about 2009, 2010, ‘eleven, any of those years, I retrieve about ‘93, ‘92, I still call back him every bit Kevin, the child that was trying to hit on my sis and ask her out on a date,” Allen said. “And we used to go up to Columbia and practice against the kids from [the University of South Carolina]. That’s the guy I always call up.

“For me, to have some sense of humility and of normalcy, you tin’t ever think about these great moments like this because you have to think where y’all come from. That has allowed us to get to this level.”

A few years ago, Allen and Pierce, who were never really at odds but had been icy since Allen’southward Boston departure, made upward and discussed their issues. Pierce said later on that he fabricated it his purpose to reunite the Large Iii, but Garnett would have time to convince.

“Whatsoever fourth dimension later that, Paul and I when we saw each other, it was similar nothing has changed; we were trying to raise our kids and make them productive members of society, I just had never had that opportunity effectually Kevin, I hadn’t seen him at all,” Allen said. “It took All-Star Weekend and then existence hither [to go far happen].”

Allen said he felt left out non simply by the feud with Garnett, but with the Celtics, because of the unsavory receptions he received as a fellow member of the Heat, getting booed every fourth dimension he touched the ball in his improvement game.

“I don’t like being on the outside,” he said. “There’s so many people hither that I love, that I spent time with, that have been part of the family. The people that you know in this building, I encounter them on TV. They’re etched in my mind, when information technology comes to my time spent here in Boston. To not exist able to connect with them, it was tough for me.

“Just because I moved away doesn’t hateful that relationship, that friendship ends. It did middle around Kevin and myself because I did get the sense that the people here [in Boston] felt how Kevin felt. Once he accustomed me, then the people accept me, that was the sense. I was glad that we could do that and people could see and people could say we won with this guy in 2008, and that’southward what matters most.”

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Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.