An emotional Ray Allen relishes a moment he’ll remember the rest of his life
|02.11.11 at 1:27 am ET|
Ray Allen has always been known as a stoic, some would say ice-cold, figure on the court. You could never really truly ever figure out if he was happy or upset with his play or his shooting. Perhaps that’s what has made him — now — the most prolific 3-point artist in NBA history.
But Thursday night was different for Allen the moment he stepped on the parquet.
There were the extra media members on hand for a national broadcast between the two fiercest rivals in the NBA. There was the tremendous build-up and then, of course, there were the fans who were chanting his name and cheering, beginning in warm-ups.
Allen needed just two 3-pointers to pass Reggie Miller and make NBA history smack dab in the middle of a Lakers-Celtics game.
“What I thought about is, is it really going to happen,” Allen said. “I know I only needed two 3′s, and on any other day, any other game, it seems like it would happen just like that, I wouldn’t have to think about it. But that second 3, almost, it seemed like it was slow motion for me, cause I’ve seen the whole thing develop. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve played the game and I can see it, somewhat in a second motion so to speak. Where the ball kind of comes so slow, like somebody is almost slow motioning it on TV. That’s exactly how it felt, because the minute we got the stop and Rondo got the ball. In my mind it just started, and I just said to myself this is it.”
Allen drained a 3 with 4:14 left in the first to tie the record. Then, after a Von Wafer steal of Kwame Brown, it opened up to a fast break led by Rajon Rondo. Of all the Celtics to set up history, this was the man. And Allen knew it.
“When Rondo brought the ball up I knew it,” Allen said. “We’ve seen it a thousand times. I know, he knows where I am. And so many people asked me over the last couple of weeks, ‘Who’s going to make that pass?’, and I said it’s a no-brainer, I knew it would be Rondo.
“He starts the break for us so many times. So when I got the ball and let it go, it was like, I felt so good behind it, once the ball went in the air I knew it was good. The one before that I missed I felt the same way about that, but that didn’t go in.”
But from the moment it left his hand, Allen knew he had launched the shot that would put him in the record book. The 3-pointer that went through the basket in front of the Celtics bench gave him 2,561 treys in his career, one more than Miller.
“When I got the ball and let it go, I felt so good behind it that once ball went in air I knew it was good,” Allen said of his historic 3 with 1:48 left in the first quarter.
It was Allen’s fifth 3-point attempt on the night, after tying the record just three minutes earlier. He had two 3′s rim in and out before the record-setter.
“That one, it was like, ‘This is money.’ It was definitely a magical moment,” Allen said. “It was a great moment. I’ll remember it the rest of my life. It’s a moment that will stay with me forever.
“Just being in this building, the support I’ve had coming into this moment, this situation, I felt a little embarrassed because there was so much attention surrounding this 3-point record. And I’ve never really experienced this much because this is a team sport, very rarely do you get that emotional individual support so it was overwhelming but a great moment.”
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