In an era where bigs like Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tim Duncan dominated, Allen played his part from behind the arc with 3-point shots and a humble demeanor. He’s inspired an entire generation of pure shooters like Steph Curry, and has changed the sport forever. After recently mulling over returning to the game, Allen decided to stay off the hardwood.
But legends are never forgotten.
Check out some of our favorite Ray Allen moments over the course of his 18-year NBA Career.
His Lead Role In He Got Game
Source: John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive / Getty
In 1998 — just two years into his career — Ray Allen decided to take on a lead role in Spike Lee’s sports drama, He Got Game. In the cult classic, Allen plays Jesus Shuttlesworth, a poverty-stricken high school kid who lives with his sister. His father, played by Denzel Washington, is currently incarcerated for killing his wife and given a week’s parole in order to convince his son to play basketball for a specific school. It marks the third joint Spike Lee and Washington work on together and is his most underrated performance. Allen held his own in the film and every young kid who has seen the film was either jealous of his on-screen girlfriend (played by Rosario Dawson) or the white Foamposites he constantly rocked.
His Big Shot With The Miami Heat In 2013
We already know that Allen can get busy from behind the arc. He currently holds the NBA’s record for most made three-pointers. But the shot that showed he doesn’t flinch under pressure came during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. The Miami Heat were on the verge of elimination, when the Spurs started to miss free throws. With just 5.2 seconds left and the kick out to Allen, he hoisted up a three that tied the game and sent it to overtime. Not only would the Heat go on to win the game, but they’d also dominate in Game 7 and win the Championship for the second consecutive year.
Leaving UCONN Early And Still Succeeding
Source: Doug Pensinger / Getty
When any college basketball player decides to declare for the NBA draft, it’s a big deal. But it meant even more to Allen, as his alma mater, UCONN, has never had a good track record when it comes to players not staying in college all four years. Known for letting his game speak and otherwise moving in silence, Allen decided to voice his about his decision to move to the NBA prematurely.
“You have to look at both sides,” a very rarely outspoken Allen told Sports Illustrated in 1996. “Where would I rather be? In the NBA, making money, with no rules, a job and any car I want? Or in college, where I’ve got to wake up early and go to class and have no money in my pocket?”
He went on to play 18 years in the league, win 2 championships, and currently holds several NBA records. It’s safe to say Allen did pretty well for himself.
His Impeccable Sneaker Collection
Source: Brian Babineau / Getty
One of the most coveted endorsements to any athlete is a sneaker deal. The excitement is tenfold when you get exclusive sneakers that the general public will never get its hands on. Ray Allen was that dude. He had an endorsement with Jordan Brand that rewarded countless players exclusive to match his green Celtics jersey and his traditional red and black Miami Heat gear. Draining 3’s and wearing never-before-seen kicks was something we could always look forward to from Ray. Outside of Mike Bibby and a young Kobe Bryant, Allen is in the running to have one the best biggest collection of Jordan Brand exclusives.