Ray Allen, who has two NBA titles to his name, an Olympic gold medal, played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat and is widely considered one of the greatest UConn Huskies in that college team’s storied basketball history, has retired.
In a heartfelt letter to his 13-year-old self at The Players’ Tribune, Allen talks of what he went through growing up, the places he lived in as the son of a father in the Air Force, “being an outsider,” all of the great players he played against (Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler) and the ones he played with (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade). He writes about the nearly 26,000 shots he took throughout his career, the one that went in and the 14,000 misses. Most of all, Allen writes about his triumphs, of which he has many, and how it’s important to enjoy every moment, especially the little things.
“The championships are almost secondary to the feeling you’ll get from waking up every morning and putting in the work,” he writes. “The championships are like when you were sitting in class at UConn with your shirt and tie on. They’re just the culmination.”
Allen, who sat out last season after not being able to find a team, has been given a 99.87 percent chance of getting into the Basketball Hall of Fame with some of the players he won big with and against throughout his career. Those two rings and close to 3,000 three-pointers in his long career make a strong case that Allen definitely deserves to be considered among the greats.