Happy Birthday, Ray Allen! The NBA’s all-time three-point king turned 45 today. The Hall of Fame sharpshooter was an integral player on four different teams – Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston and Miami – in his 18 seasons in the league. He is a two-time NBA champion. Of course, Allen may be best remembered for his amazing three-point shot in the waning seconds of Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs. That shot sent the game into overtime, and the resulting Heat win forced a Game 7 and, ultimately, Miami’s second consecutive league title.
Here are ten more interesting facts about Ray Allen:
♦ Allen finished his NBA career with 2,973 made three-pointers, more than 400 treys more than the No. 2 player on the list, Reggie Miller (2,560). Steph Curry (2,495), Kyle Korver (2,437) and James Harden (2,296) – all active players – round out the Top Five.
♦ Allen was born in Merced, California. The family was in the military and was always on the move. For a time, Allen lived in Saxmundum, England. It was there that he first started playing sports: Pee Wee football, then baseball and soccer.
♦ Allen played for Hillcrest High School in Dalzell, South Carolina. In 1993, he led the Wildcats to the 4A state championship. His nickname at the time was “Candy Man.”
♦ In 1994, Allen broke the U.S. Olympic Festival scoring record held by Shaquille O’Neal. He led the tournament in both scoring (25.3 avg.) and rebounding (8.8).
♦ During his freshman season at UConn, after hearing that basketball legend Oscar Robertson used to carry the ball with him everywhere he went, Allen decided to do the same. He wound up carrying his basketball with him for two months, even taking it to bed with him. “I wanted to be more familiar with the ball, more comfortable with it,” he said.
♦ Allen played three seasons at UConn, finishing his Husky career with 1,922 points – third most in program history. He also set the school’s single-season record for three-point goals, connecting on 115 of them in the 1995-96 season.
♦ The Milwaukee Bucks made Allen the No. 5 overall selection in the 1996 NBA Draft. The four players drafted ahead of Allen were, in order: Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Stephon Marbury.
♦ Allen played the role of “Jesus Shuttlesworth” in the 1998 Spike Lee film, He Got Game. The movie also starred Denzel Washington, Rosario Dawson, Ned Beatty and Milla Jovovich. He garnered praise for his performance, including a thumb’s up by noted movie critic Roger Ebert.
♦ Besides his long-range shooting prowess, Allen was also an accomplished free throw shooter. His career free throw percentage was an amazing .894. That places him sixth on the league’s all-time free throw percentage leaders, just ahead of Rick Barry. In 2009, as a Boston Celtic, he set a new franchise record for most consecutive made free throws (72), breaking Larry Bird’s previous mark of 71.
♦ He is the first player in league history to have two games in the NBA Finals with at least 7 three-point field goals.
♦ In September 2018, Allen was officially inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Below is the Hall of Fame’s retrospective of Allen’s career:
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