Ray Allen, one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, has officially retired from playing in the NBA after 19 years in the league. Last season there were rumors that Jesus Shuttlesworth was going to bide his time and sign with a playoff team at the eleventh hour, but that never happened. It seems as though he’s happy enough with his two NBA Championships, one with the Celtics and one with the Heat.
When Allen went to the Celtics as part of the original Big Three, I think a lot of fans were pretty happy for him. Finally, Allen was going to a place where he could play with others of equal talent. And when he won in Boston, I remember even as a Knicks fan that I was somewhat happy for him (I was much happier about KG getting a ring, though). But when Ray left the Big Three and went to Miami, that’s when he turned heel instantly. Everyone began hating him.
So when he left the Miami Heat in 2013-2014 and supposedly sent out feelers to Championship-level teams wondering if they’d need him for their Playoff push, that did not help fans’ general attitude towards a man with the prettiest jump shot in the modern game. People were genuinely upset with him.
But that never happened. He never got a look, or maybe the rumors were just rumors. And now we know for sure that he’s retired from the game. In order to make the announcement, Ray Allen wrote this letter to a 13-year-old Ray Allen The Players Tribune to make the announcement.
Tomorrow when you get off that school bus in South Carolina, you’ll have to choose.
Every day for the rest of your life, you’ll have to choose.
Do you want to fit in, or do you want to embark on the lonely pursuit of greatness?
I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game. I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.
So farewell to Ray Allen, 2-time NBA Champion, 10-time NBA All-Star, and owner of the most clutch NBA shot in the past decade.