If you were born in the 2000s, there’s a good chance you only witnessed the lethal 3-point shooter Ray Allen. But thanks to the internet some of us can now watch Allen’s ultimate highlight compilations and realize he was a lot more than a shooting specialist.
T-Mac raves about Ray-Ray
In the early 2000s, an array of versatile wing players battled it out on the court season after season. Among those fierce rivals were Allen and his fellow NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady.
Ray-Ray and T-Mac were two of the best scorers in the east back then: McGrady for the Orlando Magic and Allen for the Milwaukee Bucks. Needless to say, the pair was well aware of each other’s arsenal.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “The Jump” in 2017, McGrady shared his take on Allen’s legacy. According to T-Mac, many may have adored Ray for his clutch treys that helped him win two championships, but having dueled with him in the past, he wanted everyone to know that Allen was way more than just a shooter.
“People forget how good he was before he was with Miami and in Boston because he turned into just a jump shooter by circumstances,” McGrady pointed out. “When he was with Milwaukee, this dude did everything. Shooting, coming off the dribble shooting, making plays, he did all of that.”
“He was a guy that can score in a variety of ways,” T-Mac added. “You think about somebody that’s in great condition, like a guy like Ray Allen and then Reggie Miller, like these guys are non-stop movement, but what he had on them was he had the off the ball and off the dribble game. He had the athleticism; he had the playmaking ability, and he never got tired and he was clutch.”
The definition of greatness
Indeed, many of us remember the thrilling, cold-blooded three-pointers whenever Allen’s name is being thrown into the conversation.
However, McGrady was partly right because even the man himself never even paid attention to his 3-point shooting. For Allen, being consistent and doing “extra things” besides shooting is what greatness is about.
“For me, being consistent over a long time, that’s what greatness adds up to, and that’s what it was like my whole career, doing the extra things which is what makes you extraordinary. So being a 3-point shooter was never my focus,” Allen explained. “All those things are what I was for my whole career.”
All told, it’s up to us to pick which version of Ray Allen is more fascinating. But one thing we can’t argue about is that Ray-Ray is one rare beast.