One of the major themes in sports this year has been legends retiring. Kobe Bryant. Tim Duncan. Kevin Garnett. Peyton Manning. Marshawn Lynch. David Ortiz. Now you can add the greatest shooter who ever lived, Ray Allen to that list.
Ray Allen eloquently announced his retirement from the NBA after 13 seasons on the Players Tribune. He wrote a heart felt letter to his 13 year old self, addressing all of the obstacles, challenges, and success he would face throughout life and in his career.
“And the voices telling you you’re the man? Those are the voices to keep out. When you start getting same national attention in high school, you’ll hear things like, Ray’s jump shot is God-given. ”
“Listen: God doesn’t care whether you make your next jump shot.”
“You’ll put up more than 26,000 shots in your career. Almost 6 out of 10 won’t go in.”
“Don’t worry, though. A successful man is built on 1,000 failures. Or in your case 14,000 misses.”
When you think of Ray Allen the first thing that comes to mind is his picture perfect jump shot. It truly is a thing of beauty coupled together with art and poetry. Allen would make a career out of hitting threes 2,973 to be exact (most all time). His clutch, game-tying three in game 6 of the 2014 NBA Finals will live on forever in the hearts and minds of basketball fans everywhere.
Ray Allen will also be remembered for his professionalism, preparation, and dedication to fitness. Allen was still play at a high level in the NBA at age 37 and that’s a testament to him taking excellent care of his body and his insane work ethic. Even at age 41, teams were still interested in signing Ray Allen.
Ray Allen ends his career as a 10x All Star, 2X NBA Championship, all-time leader in 3 pointers made, and the 7th highest free throw percentage in NBA history (89.4%). Allen played 18 years in the NBA with four teams, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics and finally the Miami Heat.
I think it’s only fitting that Garnett and Allen retired in the same year, and Paul Pierce plans to retire at the end of this season. Garnett, Allen and Pierce formed the Big Three in Boston, won a championship together in there first year, and redefined the modern era of super teams. It’s because of these three that LeBron left Cleveland to form his own Super team in Miami.
As a kid growing up in Brooklyn who aspired to be like you in every way, Thank you Ray Allen.