Ray Allen embodied everything that a true professional needs to have in order to have a successful career in the NBA. In his 17 year-long career, Ray Allen cemented his legacy as one of the best shooters the league has ever seen, but also a true role model outside of the court. For every team, he played for Allen left a mark and was intelligent enough to understand what every team needed for him in order to be successful.
Allen was always one of the main stars in every team he played for, but more importantly a guy you want to get the ball too when the game is on the line because you know he can deliver. Only during his playing days for Miami Heat, Allen accepted a less important role, but he displayed the clutch gene he posses when it mattered the most during the NBA Finals against the Spurs when he delivered that iconic three from the corner. That was the moment when a lot of fans truly realized the greatness of Ray Allen and the ability to make decisive shoots when most players wouldn’t that amoung of courage.
After his retirement, Ray summarized his career in a perfect way in a series he did for The Players Tribune, in which he wrote a letter to his younger self. Ray emphasized all the failures he had in order to achieve greatness and also the importance of playing with and against some of the most legendary players in the entire league history. The experience he gained early in his career, helped him to understand the approach he needs to have for a great career.
Ray Allen also mentioned the recipe to his success which is not very glamours because it consists of habits, old boring habits that are essential for every player who wants to achieve greatness longevity in the league.
“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. But you’ll keep showing up every day, putting in the work.
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. The personalities of those two teams will be different, but both teams will have the same thing in common. h*Habits. Boring old habits.
I know you want me to let you in on some big secret to success in the NBA. The secret is there is no secret. It’s just boring old habits.