After a brilliant 18-year career former UConn legend and NBA great, Ray Allen, announced his retirement from the NBA in a piece for The Players’ Tribune in the form of a letter to his 13-year-old self. Prior to his retirement, Allen last played during the 2013-14 season as a member of the Miami Heat.
“I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game. I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself,” Allen said in the letter.
Allen’s retirement marks an official end to an extremely successful career with the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle Sonics, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. During his 18 seasons, Allen won two NBA titles, was named to 10 all-star teams and averaged 18.9 points per game. He leaves the NBA as the league’s all-time leader with 2,973 made three-pointers and is 22nd all-time in career NBA scoring with 24,505 points. Allen is also seventh all-time in free throw percentage, with a career average of 89.4 percent.
“I believe we are all well-aware of the tremendous impact that Ray has had, not only on the UConn basketball program, but on the game of basketball at its highest level,” current UConn Head Coach, Kevin Ollie, said in a statement. “His skills on the court were obvious, but the daily work ethic he maintained in order to retain those skills for so long was truly inspiring.”
In his article, Allen talks in depth about his time at UConn and how Head Coach, Jim Calhoun, prepared him to be successful on and off the court.
“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. His name is Jim Calhoun. Don’t get on this man’s shit list,” Allen said. “This man is going to damn near break you, but he’s going to make you a much better player and person. This will be your introduction to what it really takes to be great.”
Allen's rise to superstardom began in Storrs, where he averaged 12.6 points per game and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc. He would go on to play two more seasons at UConn, averaging 23.4 points per game and shooting 46 percent from the three-point line and being named a first team All-American, Big East Player of the Year. He also led UConn to a Big East Conference Tournament Championship with a game-winner against Georgetown. Allen was selected with the No. 5 overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1996 NBA Draft but was immediately traded to the Bucks to begin his professional career.
“We have had many great players through the years, but Ray is probably the No. 1 name brand we’ve had. We, at UConn, can all be proud of what he accomplished here and the greatness that he achieved when he went on to the NBA,” Calhoun said in a statement. “He is obviously a very special player and he’s also a very special person on and off the court.”
In just three seasons as a member of the Huskies, Allen ranks fifth all-time in scoring with 1,922 points and scored double-figures in a program-best 67 straight games. He is also UConn’s all-time leader in three-point percentage at 44.8 percent. He was named an honorary captain of the Huskies’ all-century team in 2001 and was inducted into the Huskies of Honor in 2007.
After an illustrious collegiate and professional career, Allen’s next step is likely induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame states that players must be fully retired for five years before becoming eligible for induction. While Allen hasn’t played since 2014, his official 2016 retirement means he will likely be eligible for induction in 2021, the same class as NBA legends Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.