Any current or past basketball player that envisioned themself as a shooter has a special place in their heart for Ray Allen. He embodied everything that it took to be a pure shooter. Allen had perfect form, A-1 balance, knew how to use screens, and contained a consistent release which always kept his accuracy at its peak. But what made Ray Allen so special was the fact that he was more than a shooter. The guard out of UConn knew how to put the ball on the floor or make a move past his defender and get to the basket. His ability to adapt to how he was being defended made him special in so many ways.
With Ray Allen announcing his retirement, the game is going to miss shooters who played like him. We have guys in the NBA like Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, and J.J. Redick who mirror a similar game style but it’s not quite what Ray Allen was. Even with shooting being so prevalent in today’s game, guys who catch and shoot off screens is a rarity outside of those three names. I know Allen kicks back and watches today’s game thinking he could make a killing shooting at the rate guys shoot today.
Personally, I took a lot of pointers from watching Ray Allen during my childhood. I always thought I was a shooter because that was just something I loved to do and I was decent at it. There was so much knowledge in watching him come off a screen that he could write a book on it. Things like changing your pace to throw your defender off or slowing down to make contact right before you come off a screen to give yourself more separation on your shot. Just little nuances that Allen used to produce an 18.9 points per game career.
Ray Allen’s game was one to admire because he was so smart but also because he played hard. He knew what he could and couldn’t do which is why he had such a long and consistent career. With Allen being my last name, I used to tell people he was my cousin and that’s why I shot so good. That was just a funny narrative that I ran with even though many people didn’t believe me. But Ray Allen is one of a kind and a future hall-of-famer who paved the way for a lot of shooters, including myself which is why I would just like to say,
Thank You Ray Allen aka Jesus Shuttlesworth.