This NBA season just took another loss as the 41-year old, 10 time all star, Ray Allen, retired yesterday [November 1st]. Allen had a remarkable career in which he came into the NBA during the 1996 draft with Hall-A-Fame counterpart, Allen Iverson, and Stephon Marbury who left the NBA to go on and play with the Chinese Basketball Association.
Throughout his 18-year career, Allen was known to be dependable in crucial times and a clutch player no matter what team he was apart of. His three point ability still stands as the league’s best as he holds the record for all time leader for 3-point field goals with 2,973, even beating out the great Reggie Miller who comes in second behind Allen with 2,560.
Despite his many noteworthy performances on the hardwood, Allen’s best performance yet was played out on the big screen as Jesus Shuttlesworth for Spike Lee’s classic He’s Got Game. Fans loved Jesus so much that they insisted on the fictional character coming to life during Allen’s professional play in the NBA.
Allen was definitely a young phenomenon and as apart of his retirement he writes ‘A Letter to My Younger Self’ in The Player’s Tribune. In the letter, Allen writes to his 13-year old self. He touches on his adolescent years as a military brat having to travel from state to state with the all too familiar feeling of never quite fitting in. He describes his transition from being a young cat playing with older guys who see his talent and reminisce on how they’re lives could’ve been different if they would’ve capitalized on their own. He describes his first two practices at UCONN and how Jim Calhoun changed his outlook on the game of basketball and made him a better player overall. Lastly, he discussed his 18-year career in the NBA and the rare habits he adopted and the discipline he stowed upon himself that he credits his success to. He expressed a brutally honest truth about the insignificance of an NBA title and what he eventually grew to value more than anything else which is family. Allen’s letter was so transparent and even more profound. Fans, players, and teammates, alike, can read Allen’s letter and get a better glimpse of who he is as a person and a player and probably understand him better than they ever have before.
We wish Ray Allen all the best in whatever is to come of his legacy.
You can read Allen’s The Player’s Tribune letter here.