It might be hard to imagine a world where the Milwaukee Bucks had great players, but we are living in it right now. Milwaukee has been the home of more than a few great players, like Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, and so on. The city also housed the greatest shooter in NBA history, Ray Allen.
Allen announced his retirement Tuesday. For NBA fans, the hits keep coming. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan Kevin Garnett, and others have retired. It makes you think to yourself, "Where did the years go?"
While the NBA waves goodbye to another great, we should look back at their careers, and that is what we need to do with Ray Allen.
Ray started his professional career by being selected 5th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he was immediately traded to Milwaukee. In his rookie season, he averaged 13.4 points per game. He would improve to 19.5 in just his second year, and the Bucks knew they found a great player in the kid from UConn.
In his 4th year, Ray Allen broke the 20 ppg mark, and he would not average lower than 20 ppg for the rest of his tenure with the Bucks, and in fact kept that average until the 2006-07 season. In that 4th year, he began his streak of shooting above 40% from 3 point land. In the 2000-01 NBA season, Ray Allen not only kept posting amazing numbers, but also helped the Bucks make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, something that had not been done since 1986. The Sixers and Bucks battled for 7 games, and the Sixers won that final game. The Bucks have not made it past the first round since.
The Bucks traded Allen (along with other players and picks) to the Seattle Supersonics for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. Allen would then play in Seattle for 5 years, then join the Celtics and their Big 3. He would become NBA champion in Boston, and again in Miami when he joined the Big 3 Heat.
Many consider Ray Allen to be the greatest shooter of all time. It is funny to think that Allen spent 7 seasons in Milwaukee considering the poor shooting recently, but he did, and he meant a lot to the Bucks organization.
Farewell Ray. It was an honor to watch you wherever you played.