Two time NBA champ and the top 3-point shooter in NBA history, Ray Allen, announced his retirement by writing a letter to his 13-year-old self in a post on The Players’ Tribune website.
Allen spent 18 seasons in the league and two years after his last game, he has finally decided to bow out. I have watched him play ever since I was a little kid. He’s my favorite NBA player and he really opened up to the world with this letter.
Over the coarse of his career, according to NBA.com, “he played in Milwaukee, Seattle, the Celtics and the Heat, averaging 18.9 points in 1,300 regular-season games and appearing in 10 All-Star games.”
Writing to his 13-year-old self, Allen talks to his younger self giving him advice and letting him know how his life will pan out. Digging deep into his military family household, he brings up being an outsider and always having to make new friends in different cities. But he always leads himself to the same place – the court.
“I write this to you as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game,” Allen said in the post. “I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.”
He takes his readers on a journey through his life. About being told as a kid that he “talks like a white boy.” About how high school ball will be nothing like what he will go through at a D1 school like UConn. How his college coach Jim Calhoun will almost break his younger self, but make him into a better basketball player and person. How he will play alongside Hall of Famers like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. And of course, how he will win two championships – 1 playing for the Celtics and 1 for the Heat.
At the end of it all though, it’s not about the championships he wins or how many shots he makes, but about the work he puts in and the “same old boring habits.” He tells himself that “life is about the journey, not the destination. And that journey will change you as a person.”
Congratulations to a legend, the greatest shooter to play the game – Ray Allen.
To read his full letter, click here.