24,505 points. All time leader in three pointers taken. All time leader in three pointers made. Ten time all-star. Two time champ. Hit the greatest three point shot I have seen in my 24 years. And Maybe most importantly? All on his terms.
After two years of inactivity Allen officially announced his retirement today at the age of 41. He did so in a thoughtful and insightful letter written on the players tribune as a letter to his 13 year old self. Within the piece is a 28 year gem of wisdom and the importance of overcoming adversity at every step.
In many ways his career modeled his childhood growing up as a military kid. No matter where he was at Ray Allen maintained his discipline and repetition with his practice and daily functions. No doubt this lead to him being one of the greatest most consistent shooters the game has ever seen. This kind of consistency also lead to aiding and cementing the legacy of his teammates as well. Imagine how we would look at Lebron if Ray Allen never hit that shot in game 7? I leave you with a few snippets from his open letter to a young Ray.
You’re used to being the kid that nobody knows. The majority of your existence has been about trying to find new friends, trying to show people that you’re a good person and that you mean no harm. You’re used to being an outsider.
You’ve gotten pretty good at it.
What I want you to do is this: Go to the basketball court. Stay at the basketball court. You can build your entire existence there.
In high school, you might think you understand what it takes to be a great basketball player, but you will truly have no idea. When you get to UConn, your coach will show you what hard work really is.
His name is Jim Calhoun. Don’t get on this man’s shit list.
You’ll put up more than 26,000 shots in your career. Almost six out of 10 won’t even go in. I told you this game was a sonofabitch.
Don’t worry, though. A successful man is built of 1,000 failures. Or in your case, 14,000 misses.
You’ll win a championship in Boston.
You’ll win another in Miami.
The personalities on those two teams will be different, but both teams will have the same thing in common: habits.
Boring old habits.
Farewell, Ray Allen. And thank you.