NBA Hall of Famer, Ray Allen will have his No.34 jersey retired today at UCONN in Storrs Connecticut.
Allen spent three years at UConn where he was USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 1995 and an All-American and Big East Player of the Year in 1996.
Allen, the man who played Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee’s epic He Got Game film alongside Denzel Washington had some memorable games as a Huskie, too.
One of his most memorable games was a November 1994 game against No.6 ranked Duke. Allen poured in 26 points against the Blue Devils to secure the upset win.
Allen had a couple of other notable UCONN wins, like the time he hit eight 3-pointers to beat the University of Miami. Then there was the time he scored 36 points against UCLA in the West Regional game in 1995.
An accomplished college basketball player, Allen was just as impressive at the next level in the NBA. Selected fifth in the 1996 NBA Draft, he went on to become a two-time NBA champion; one with the Boston Celtics and one with the Miami Heat.
He was also a ten-time NBA All Star.
Allen has hit the most 3-pointers in NBA history at 2,973. Allen was also a recipient of good screens from his big guys which allowed him to shoot with space from the 3-point line.
Being a recipient of good screens and catches couldn’t have been truer than Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs when Allen had one of the most clutch shots of his career.
With 5.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Spurs had a 95-92 lead in the game and a 3-2 lead in the series.
Allen hit a game-tying 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime.
The Heat won Game 6 and Game 7 and won the series!
The Heat would lose the 2014 NBA Finals and Allen would officially retire in November 2016.“I played 18 years, I think I got some good time in,” Ray Allen told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
Allen is now proudly looking at the next generation of shooters after he left his mark as a premium NBA shooter.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Harris and the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry are shooting the lights out. So is another player that impresses Ray Allen: Golden State Warriors guard, Klay Thompson.
“It’s funny because he was in a slump maybe two months earlier and everyone was on him,” Allen tells Scoop B Radio.
“Now he’s shooting the lights out. I’m not impressed with him now because he’s shooting like that, I’ve always been impressed with him. I always thought that he was one of the best players in the league. He mirrors kind of the way I played, but you know it doesn’t take him being in the slump to recognize that, or for him to be in the hot seat, because that’s what happens when you shoot. You’re gonna have highs and you’re gonna have lows, but consistently he’s been, over time if you look at what he’s done, he’s been great.”
Shooters shoot. Allen leaving the NBA ushered in everybody appears to be shooting at a higher clip.
His observation of it is fascinating.
“It’s crazy, because there’s so many great shooters,” Allen told Scoop B Radio.
“I will say that as I left, shooting did drop, it seemed like it fell off a little bit. It was like three or four good shooters in the league, but now you see there’s a huge growth where a lot of teams have multiples and we’re talking about the BIG teams. You can’t shoot on this team if you can’t shoot threes. So what’s interesting is that now there’s a gap in the middle, and what’s gonna happen is, one of these kids in high school who’s gonna get really big and have really smooth moves is gonna be making baskets and making baskets that’s gonna dominate the game and flip it back over, he’ll dominate it for years. And then the game is going to have to adjust.”