It’s hard to put into words just how much Ray Allen meant to the NBA and the Boston Celtics, but Danny Ainge might have summed it up perfectly.
Allen hung up his basketball shoes for good Tuesday when he officially announced his retirement from the NBA after a Hall of Fame-worthy 19-season career. And unlike Rajon Rondo, Ainge had nothing but praise for the former Celtic.
“As one of the greatest shooting guards in the history of basketball, Ray Allen defined the word professionalism,” the Celtics president of basketball operations said in a statement. “Ray was born with special talent, but it was his leadership, tireless preparation, and infectious work ethic that made him a great teammate and champion. We would not have won the 2008 title without him.”
Allen was an integral part of the team that won title No. 17 for the Celtics in 2007-08. He averaged 17.4 points per game and shot .398 percent from 3-point range during the regular season. He was equally as big during the playoffs, which he capped off by scoring 26 points while making 7 of 9 3-pointers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
“Ray was a key member of the Big Three who helped drive us to Banner 17,” Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca added in the statement. “He is one of the best shooters and clutch players in NBA history, and we were fortunate to be able to witness his magic on the parquet. We wish him well in his retirement.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images