Even though Ray Allen hasn’t played since the Miami Heat’s 2013-14 season, for the last couple of years NBA teams have held out hope that the venerable sharpshooter might get back in the saddle one last time for a partial-season stretch run with a contender. As time passed, that possibility diminished further and further, and now Allen has finally put his NBA career to bed.
Allen penned a piece in the Player’s Tribune’s “Letter to My Younger Self” series, wherein he checks in on himself as a 13-year-old kid about to start at a new school. He tells himself the story of his entire basketball career, from high school to UConn to his title-winning teams in the NBA, before arriving at the announcement:
Tomorrow when you get off that school bus in South Carolina, you’ll have to choose.
Every day for the rest of your life, you’ll have to choose.
Do you want to fit in, or do you want to embark on the lonely pursuit of greatness?
I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game. I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.