With two more 3-point field goals in Saturday night's loss to the Washington Wizards, Ray Allen built his career total up to 2,537 total trifectas since he came into the league in 1996. He now sits just 23 behind Reggie Miller for the NBA's all-time record.
And yet, he says, the pursuit of history isn't really something he talks about.
"It's kind of hard, because we live in a bubble," Allen said. "I'm around my teammates all day long, and that's not really something that we talk about.
"But," he added, addressing the media, "I talk about it with you guys."
More and more, Allen's pursuit of Miller's all-time record has become a subject of fascination. Every game night, reporters from all over the country stream in and ask him about it.
The hype has gradually built up this season. When the Celtics tipped things off back in October, Allen was still 116 treys away from tying the Pacer legend. But he keeps growing closer — especially lately, as he's hit multiple 3-pointers in 11 of 12 games so far in 2011.
The record is getting nearer and nearer, but at least for the moment, Allen is trying not to talk or even think about it.
"It's just one of this things," he said. "You don't want to anger the basketball gods. You don't want to get too far ahead of yourself — you just kind of let it happen, and you try not to think about it. I think within those last 20, though, that's when you start to get a better perspective on it."
Twenty isn't far away. He could get that close as early as Tuesday, when the C's play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers — if not then, then later this week, when the team hits the road for a four-game West Coast trip.
As the record draws closer, Allen will have to start working out some of the logistics behind breaking the record — most notably, flying in his friends and family so they can see him reach the 2,561 milestone.
"I take that into consideration," he said. "Any time you can do something that's monumental — you win a big game, individual milestone, whatever it may be — it's always great to look up and know that your family is there supporting you, whatever you're doing."
Allen's in the middle of his 15th season, with his third team, all the while chasing his second NBA championships. He talks all the time about how all his accomplishments have been borne out of longevity — his golden rules are "take care of your body, eat right and get rest." It takes a special kind of player to be 35 years old, still going strong, and chasing history. But Allen has worked hard for decades to reach this point, and he deserves it.
"I just always felt privileged to be here and be able to do this job that I've been doing every night," he said. "I've looked up to so many people, and I've played with some great shooters, and I've played with some guys that worked hard and got me started on the right path to having a good work ethic. Everything I've done is always an homage to everybody that I've come into contact with in my life, because they've made me who I am and made me the player I am. It's just always a tip of the hat to the people that have affected me along the way."
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