Ray Allen Announced His Retirement Then Wrote This Letter On ‘The Players Tribune’

Ray Allen, one of the most iconic NBA athletes in modern times, both on and off the field, is ready to end an 18-year-long love with the game, which began when the Milwaukee Bucks took a chance on him way back in 1996.

The legendary athlete announced his retirement on Tuesday in his ‘Letter to my younger self’, which was published by The Players Tribune. The 10-time All-Star spent 7 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before moving on to the Seattle SuperSonics. He joined the Boston Celtics in 2007 before spending two seasons with the Miami Heat. He’s not played an NBA game since 2014 despite being linked with a move to the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

“The men who you are going to win championships with are all going to be very different people,” he wrote. “What makes them champions is the boring old habits that nobody sees. They compete to see who can be the first to get to the gym and the last to leave.” With an 89.4 percent success from the free-throw line, Allen has the seventh-best percentage in league history.

The shooting guard averaged 19.0 points per game over 1,300 regular-season games. “When you start getting some national attention in high school, you’ll hear things like, ‘Ray’s jump shot is God-given,’” Allen wrote. “Listen: God doesn’t care whether you make your next jump shot.” “God will give you a lot of things in life, but he’s not going to give you your jump shot. Only hard work will do that.”

He’s the last member of the Celtics Big Three to announce his retirement. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge had this to say about the former great: “As one of the greatest shooting guards in the history of basketball, Ray Allen defined the word professionalism. Ray was born with special talent, but it was his leadership, tireless preparation, and infectious work ethic that made him a great teammate and champion. We would not have won the 2008 title without him.”

He’s earned praise from both teammates and coaches alike and has served as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere. He’s one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen – a cultural icon that will be remembered forever. “Basketball will take you far away from that school yard,” Allen wrote. “You will become far more than just a basketball player.”