Walter Ray Allen (born July 20, 1975 in Merced, California), commonly referred to as Ray Allen, is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics at the position of shooting guard. He has played professionally for the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle SuperSonics, and collegiately at the University of Connecticut. One of the most accurate 3-point shooters in NBA history, he is an eight-time NBA All-Star and won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the 2000 United States Men's Basketball Team. Allen has also acted in two films, including a co-starring role in the 1998 Spike Lee-directed He Got Game.
The third of five children, Allen was born at Castle Air Force Base
. A military child
, he spent time growing up in Saxmundham
) and Germany. He attended high school in Dalzell
, South Carolina
, where he led Hillcrest High School to a basketball state championship.
Allen attended the University of Connecticut
from 1993 to 1996, where he earned All-American
status and was named USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year in 1995. In 1995-96, his final college season, Allen was a first-team All-American and won the Big East Player of the Year
award. Allen finished his UConn career third on the Huskies
' career scoring list with 1,922 points and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 three-pointers in 1995-96.
In 2001, he was named honorary captain of the 25-member UConn All-Century Basketball Team. On February 5, 2007, his name and number were honored at Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion during the "Huskies of Honor" ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against the Syracuse Orange.
Milwaukee Bucks (1996–2003)
Allen was drafted out of the University of Connecticut
by the Minnesota Timberwolves
with the fifth pick of the 1996 NBA Draft
. Immediately after his selection, Allen and Andrew Lang
were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks
for the rights to fourth pick Stephon Marbury
. Allen was a member of the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team
in 1996. His most successful season with the Bucks occurred during the 2000-01 season
as he won the 3-point shootout
during All-Star Weekend
, was selected to the All-NBA Third Team
, and led the Bucks, as part of Milwaukee's "Big Three", alongside Sam Cassell
and Glenn Robinson
, to the Eastern Conference Finals
, where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers
Seattle SuperSonics (2003–2007)
Allen remained with the Bucks midway through the 2002-03 season
, when he was dealt to the Sonics
, along with Ronald Murray
, former UConn
teammate Kevin Ollie
, and a conditional first round draft pick, in exchange for Gary Payton
and Desmond Mason
. After an injury-riddled 2003-04 season
season, he was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team
and, alongside teammate Rashard Lewis
, led the Sonics to the Conference Semifinals
in 2005. After the 2004-05 season
season, Allen signed a 5-year, $80 million contract extension. In the 2005-06
regular season, he averaged a career-high 25.1 points per game while adding 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
During his Seattle tenure, Allen achieved many individual accomplishments. On March 12, 2006, Allen became the 97th player in NBA history to score 15,000 points. On April 7, 2006, Allen moved into second place on the NBA's list of all-time 3-point field goals made, trailing only Reggie Miller. On April 19, 2006, Allen broke Dennis Scott's ten-year-old NBA record for 3-point field goals made in a season against the Denver Nuggets.
On January 12, 2007, Allen scored a career-high 54 points against the Utah Jazz in a 122-114 overtime win, the second most in Sonics history. Shortly after, he had ankle surgery on both ankles and missed the remainder of the 2006-07 season.
Boston Celtics (2007–present)
On June 28, 2007, the Sonics traded Allen and Glen Davis, the 35th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, to the Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and the fifth overall pick, Jeff Green.
On November 4, 2007, Allen passed 17,000 points for his career with his first of two 3-pointers in overtime in a 98-95 victory against the Toronto Raptors, in which he sank the game winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in overtime.
On February 13, 2008, Allen was named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured East All-Star Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards, who was out with a left hip flexor strain, for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. While LeBron James was given the All-Star MVP Award, many analysts, including the TNT commentators of the game, felt it should have gone to Allen, who scored 14 points in a stretch of 3 minutes and 14 seconds in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the East team.
On March 28, 2008, Allen was honored as the 3rd best of the 20 greatest players in franchise history during Milwaukee's 40th Anniversary Team Celebration, but couldn't attend the festivities because of the Celtics' game against the New Orleans Hornets.
On June 17, 2008, in the series-ending Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Allen tied an NBA Finals record with seven three-pointers in the Celtics' 131–92 victory of the Los Angeles Lakers, and also broke the record for three-pointers made in a NBA Finals series with 22, eclipsing the previous record of 17 by Dan Majerle and Derek Harper.
In 1998, Allen co-starred alongside Denzel Washington
in the Spike Lee
movie He Got Game
as high school basketball phenomenon Jesus Shuttlesworth. Roger Ebert praised Allen as a "rarity: an athlete who can act, while New York
magazine described him as "graceful and fast in the basketball scenes" while giving "a somberly effective minimalist performance. His role as Shuttlesworth earned him the nickname "Jesus" from teammates and fans.
Allen also appeared as Marcus Blake in the 2001 film Harvard Man.
Trivia and popular culture
- Has a borderline case of obsessive compulsive disorder, which he attributes to his consummate shooting style.
- Allen likes to arrive at arenas very early to practice. "He has the key to every arena because he shows before anybody else. Ray turns the lights on. How many shots he gets off before anybody else arrives is only a guess."
- He is a member of the Air Jordan brand, which is a subsidiary of Nike.
- He is a 12 handicap golfer and has a bowling average over 150.
- His favorite movie is Schindler's List.
- During Milwaukee's 2001 playoff series with the Hornets, he painted his toenails green and purple for good luck.
- Served as NBA Spokesperson for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program.
- Selected as NBA Spokesman for the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
- Started the "Ray of Hope" Foundation to assist charities in several communities.
- NBA Champion: 2008
- All-NBA Second Team: 2005
- All-NBA Third Team: 2001
- 8-time NBA All-Star: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team: 1997
- NBA Joe Dumars NBA Sportsmanship Award: 2003
- The Sporting News "Good Guy": 2000, 2001, 2005
- NBA All-Star Weekend Three-point Shootout champion: 2001
- Holds NBA record for most three-point field goals made in a regular season with 269 in 2005-06
- NBA regular season leader, three-point field goals attempted: 2006 (653)
- NBA all-time career three-point field goals made: 2nd with 2,100 (as of April 16, 2008)
- Holds NBA record for most seasons leading the league in three-point field goals made with 3 (2001-02 with 229, 2002-03 with 201, 2005-06 with 269)
- Shares NBA record for most three-point field goals made in one half with 8 with Tracy Mcgrady (April 14, 2002 vs. the Charlotte Hornets).
- Shares NBA record for most three-point field goals made in a single NBA Finals Game with 7 with Kenny Smith and Scottie Pippen (June 17, 2008, in Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals)
- Holds NBA record for most three-point field goals made in an NBA Finals series with 22 (2008 NBA Finals)
- Holds Milwaukee Bucks franchise records for most consecutive games played (400), most career three-point field goals made (1,051), and most career three-point field goals attempted (2,587).
- Ranks 53rd all time on the NBA's scoring leader list trailing Dave Bing (as of April 16, 2008).
- Member of the 2000 United States men's basketball team, which won gold at the Sydney Olympics.