Ray Allen, the NBA’s all-time leading three-point scorer, made his retirement official on Tuesday.
Allen competed in the league for 19 seasons, winning two NBA titles with Boston and Miami. He made 10 All-Star teams and led the league in scoring in 2006-2007 with the Seattle Supersonics. Allen won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.
Hollywood captured his most famous basketball moments. “Basketball is like poetry in motion, cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he’s fallin’ back, then just J right in his face,” Allen said as Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game. “Then you look at him and say, ‘What?'”
In a lengthy letter to his younger self published Tuesday at the Players’ Tribune, Allen wrote:
I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game. I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself.
The hell you experience when you get off that bus will be temporary. Basketball will take you far away from that school yard. You will become far more than just a basketball player. You’ll get to act in movies. You’ll travel the world. You will become a husband, and the father of five amazing children.
Now, the most important question in your life isn’t, “Who am I supposed to be?” or even, “What do I have to do to win another championship?”
It’s, “Daddy, guess what happened in math class today?”
That’s the reward that awaits you at the end of your journey.
Allen last competed for the Miami Heat in 2013-2014. Because of his outside shot and veteran presence, he remained a vaunted commodity for teams making a playoff run. Although he remained off the court for the last two seasons, he did not decide to retire until now. With his departure, it looks as though the historic 1996 draft class—which included Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash—graces NBA courts no more.