BOSTON (CBS) – Former Celtic Ray Allen posted a lengthy tribute to Paul Pierce after Allen was criticized for skipping Pierce’s number retirement ceremony in favor of a round of golf with actor George Lopez.

“Over the last few years I have been berated, lambasted and had my name smeared. You may not want to hear this, but I will always be a Celtic,” Allen posted on Instagram.

Allen called the team’s 2008 championship special, “not only by Boston standards but by professional sports standards.”

He praised all of his teammates, fans, and other members of the organization.

The sharp shooter also said he and Pierce have a positive relationship, despite reports suggesting otherwise over recent years.

“Paul and I have spoken about our time together as teammates – going to battle night after night knowing we could count on one another and we have also talked about my decision to leave during free agency – a choice I made for my family. Despite what you may have heard or read or what is rumored – there is nothing but love. Paul and I are more interested in building bridges than putting up walls,” Allen wrote.

The Instagram post concluded with a salute to Pierce for having his number raised to the rafters.

“To Paul, number 34, Congratulations on having your number raised up to the rafters. I salute you for your commitment to the city of Boston and to us the 2008 NBA Champions,” said Allen.

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