Ray Allen hasn’t played active basketball since the 2013-14 season but the professional basketball player who played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced his official retirement from the game on Tuesday.
The world has since showered praise on Allen for his wonderful career as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
He is rated as one of the most accurate three-point and free throw shooters in NBA history.
The hoopster was also a ten-time NBA All-Star, and won two NBA championships (2008, 2013). His achievements include an Olympic gold medal which he won as a member of United States men’s basketball team (2000).
Allen, 41, crowned her exit from the game with an emotional letter to his younger self.
According to a report published by The Players Tribune, he wrote a lengthy letter to himself at 13.
“Dear 13-year-old Ray,
“…You’ve grown up in a military household your whole life. Until now, your friends were all from military families. You walked around the neighborhood with your I.D. card hanging around your neck like a dog tag in case some unfamiliar MPs rolled by. You spent your formative elementary school years in Britain. So you don’t even realize it, but to some people, you speak very proper.
“When you step off that school bus in South Carolina tomorrow and open your mouth, those kids are going to look at you like you’re an alien.
“‘You talk like a white boy,’ they’ll say.
“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,” he wrote.
Image shows Ray Allen in action for Miami Heats.
Allen then went further with some serious pieces of advice about starting the NBA.
“You’ll get to play against your heroes: Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler. You’ll play alongside Hall of Famers: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade. Sometimes you’ll be afraid. Sometimes you’ll think you’re out of your league,” he cautions. “But you’ll keep showing up every day, putting in the work.”
The shooting guard continues: “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.”
On life as a college student, Allen wrote: “Just because you don’t drink, they’ll say, ‘Man, you’re gonna be an alcoholic once you get to college. You won’t be ready. All they do is drink there.’
“A lot of people don’t want to see you succeed. Don’t get into fistfights with these kids. Trust me, it will accomplish nothing.”
Image: Ray Allen
He advised: “Instead, remember exactly who said those things.
“Remember how they said it.
“Remember their faces.
“Keep these voices inside your head and use them as fuel every single day when you wake up.
“And the voices telling you you’re the man? Those are the voices to keep out. When you start getting some national attention in high school, you’ll hear things like, ‘Ray’s jumpshot is God-given.’
“Listen: God doesn’t care whether you make your next jump shot.
“God will give you a lot of things in life, but he’s not going to give you your jump shot. Only hard work will do that…”
Image: Ray Allen
Allen stopped playing in 2014 but never announced his retirement until November 1.
“To me, he’s the greatest shooter ever because of his longevity. He did it year-to-year and he got up on his shot. That’s what made him different. He was a special player.”