Free-agent shooting guard Ray Allen said he will be skipping the 2014-15 NBA season and will reassess his options for 2015-16.
Ray Allen is skipping the 2014-15 NBA season.
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The free-agent guard made the declaration on Wednesday, March 4. He made no mention of retirement. Instead, he will analyze his options for the 2015-16 NBA season, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
ESPN obtained a statement from Allen by way of his agent, Jim Tanner:
"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me.
"I've ultimately decided that I will not play in the NBA this season. I'm going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season."
In the same statement, Tanner said Allen has received offers from multiple teams, per Windhorst. He said,"Ray has received enormous interest from a number of NBA teams throughout this season. We will communicate with interested teams as Ray makes a decision for the 2015-16 season."
According to Windhorst, Allen said after the 2014 NBA Finals between his most recent team, the Miami Heat, and the San Antonio Spurs, that he felt content and was unsure about taking the court again. In spite of this, several teams tried to reach out to him to the extent of leaving roster spots open in case he decided to play again.
While teams tried to convince him to play for them, Allen continued to stay in shape in his Miami home, per Windhorst. One of the most aggressive squads was the Cleveland Cavaliers, who, in LeBron James, Mike Miller and James Jones, have three of his former teammates with the Heat. James even met with Allen while the latter was rehabbing in South Florida two months ago.
Windhorst then describes what transpired in the ensuing weeks:
"But while Allen kept the door open, teams started moving on around the trade deadline as it started to appear that Allen was indeed going to sit the season out after he didn't make a commitment following the All-Star break. He made it official in a release from his agency, Tandem."
James eventually passed Allen for 21st on the NBA's all-time scoring list when he scored 27 points in a 110-79 rout of the visiting Boston Celtics on March 3, per Windhorst's colleague at ESPN, Dave McMenamin. James, a four-time MVP, now has 24,508 career points to Allen's 24,505.
James told McMenamin that passing Allen, one of his closest friends, is "humbling":
"I didn't know until I came to the bench and the guys congratulated me, and I was like,'For what? For making a layup?' They go,'You passed Ray Allen.' That's one of my best friends. That's a guy that I competed against, I grew up watching and then to be able to team with him the last two years when I was in Miami, I learned so much from him about work ethic, about being a professional, and it just added on to my game.
"To know that I passed him tonight, it's very humbling. I guess I've done some pretty good things in this league so far."
Allen, who will turn 40 years old in July, is the league's all-time leader in three-pointers made in the regular season and the playoffs. In the regular season, he's made 2,973 threes. On the other hand, he's drained 385 triples in the postseason. For his career, he's averaged 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
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