Our friend Jimmy Toscano over at CelticsBlog has a terrific piece this morning discussing the past, present and future of the sharpshooter’s NBA odyssey in anticipation of Allen setting the all-time three-point record tonight, (no sure thing to make two against the Lakers tonight however as we found out during last year’s NBA Finals). Nonetheless, there’s one particular part of Jimmy’s piece that stood out to me in particular, especially when discussing the Big Three’s “window of opportunity.” Just how long does Ray plan on playing?
Allen will be 36 years old when his current contract with the Celtics runs out, but there’s no chance that will be the last you see of him on the court. With his work ethic and peak physical condition, Allen could play into his 40’s – and seems to want to – on the Celtics, too.
“It’s not about me being here and thinking it’s the end of my career and I’m older and more tired and I’m not going to lift weights as much.”
That’s on the contrary actually. With each passing year, Allen seems to focus more and more on his health and wellness. One reason? His family.
“One of the things that I said about my longevity is I wanted my kids to really be able to see and understand what I’m doing, what I am, because I want it to have an impact on them in a positive way. Not that they felt like they had to walk in my shoes, just for them to see this and enjoy it and then me being able to teach them lessons through what I’m doing, bringing them into the gym.”
Allen became the person he is today through his upbringing on the military base and learning from the positive role models like his father on site. He wants to give his kids that same experience through his job.
“Right now they’re too young so I still think that they have opportunities to grow to seven, eight, nine years old where they’re going to be able to see me in the gym and want to come to work and shoot the basketball. And if you don’t end up playing in the NBA, at least you’ll obtain some of the disciplines and the ideas of how to work, and live, and eat, and be, at that age. Not that I’m pushing it on them, but just see; be a part of it.”
For those wondering, Allen’s oldest child is six years old, but the youngest is just one. If he’s waiting on that one, he’ll have plenty of time to extend upon his record setting three-point numbers.
“Say you break the record then three, four, five years down the line some other guy comes up and he gets to that point,” Allen said. “Whatever number it is right now that Reggie’s number is, I don’t want to be two three’s over it. I want to keep going and just keep pushing and then whatever that number is going to be it’s going to be.”
The drive to keep going has never been a problem for Allen.
“The journey is always the beautiful part,” he said.
It’s some terrific insight into Allen and given that the guy is putting up some of his best career shooting numbers as a 35-year-old playing over 35 minutes a game, it’s hard to question the fact that his career could extend into his 40’s with him still being a top 10 or 15 shooting guard in the league. He’s got a one year player option remaining at 10 million dollars for next year….and after that his future is unclear but it’s fair to ask. Just how long could you see him into a C’s uniform?