Almost every NBA player has a unique pre-game routine. Others even take it to another level and go for pre-workout supplements, while there are some who trust the process and rely on pure hard work. Among them was NBA Hall of Famer and two-time NBA champion Ray Allen.
Cuban wasn’t stupid
Allen’s career and accolades speak a lot about his discipline and mentality as a player. Being one of the most hands-on team owners in the league, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks once saw it in Ray-Ray firsthand.
According to Cuban, it was a game against Allen’s team, and he decided to come to the arena for a shoot-around. The billionaire was surprised to see Allen already sweating and drilling jump shots like “bam, bam, bam, bam.”
What made the encounter even more epic was that Allen noticed Cuban and challenged him to “shoot for money.” Of course, Cuban knew better, and having a shootout with one of the greatest shooters of all time was the last thing he would want to do. So he made a witty yet boastful response instead.
“Ray Allen used to have the best [pre-game routine],” Cuban told sports journalist Landon Buford in 2019. “He used to be out here even before I came out here, and was like bam, bam, bam, bam every time and was like ‘You want to shoot for money?’ I was like ‘I got rich by not being stupid Ray.’”
Ray-Ray was meticulous
While most of us are aware that Allen is one of the players who constantly worked on improving his game during his playing years. However, some may not know that Ray-Ray has a rare and “undocumented case of OCD” (obsessive compulsive disorder).
For the better part of Allen’s career, his OCD did him good as he benefited from it by continuously perfecting his shot. Over time, Allen intensified his routines, becoming one of the most clutch players in the game’s history.
“You have to shoot shots that you know you’re going to be tested on in a game,” Allen explained. “If you think about a fourth quarter scenario with somebody running out at you, how is that lift on your jump shot gonna look? What is that release gonna look like and that’s what you have to practice.”
All told, what Allen proved, which Cuban can attest to, is that hard work is still second to none, especially in the game of basketball.