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The True Number 34

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Ray Allen Rightfully Enters the Hall of Fame

When I was first introduced to the NBA’s future all time leading three point maker, he was Ray Allen. A rookie that came out of the University of Connecticut catapulted himself as one of the league’s brightest. With his ability to get up above the rim, to introducing the world to one of the purest shots to ever take form, Ray Allen rejuvenated basketball in Milwaukee. Growing up in the ’90s, all I knew was Michael Jordan; and the saying was true, everyone wanted to be like Mike, even me. That all changed though when I went to my first Bucks game as a kid and witnessed to the greatness of number 34.

After that night, I didn’t want to be like Mike anymore, I wanted to be like Ray. Having a player like Allen take charge in a city like Milwaukee, where there had not been a spark of super stardom since Kareem, was life changing for young Bucks fans. It was easy to get behind a player who declared excellence with every move he made on the court while holding his composure off of it. For six years, the league was aware of Milwaukee, because of what Allen brought to the table, the only regrettable thing is that his time in the cream city didn’t last six years more.

Allen Played In Milwaukee From 1996-2003

Even after Allen left Milwaukee, most do not forget what he brought to this small market team with his time here. A glimpse of greatness by carrying the Bucks to the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals where they took the 76ers to seven games. Ultimately, the Bucks could not seal the deal, but what a run it was. People knew that as long as Ray Allen donned the green and purple, Milwaukee always had a shot. That could be said for any team that Allen went to, he was a sharp shooter like no other. If he was beyond the arc and took the shot, only a fool would bet against that ball going in.

There is a type of clarity that comes when witnessing a once in a generation player. It is realizing that something magical is taking place right in front of you, but unfortunately, that clarity always comes just a little too late. Looking back, I wish I would have cherished Allen’s time here in Milwaukee more than I did. I can use the excuse that I was too young to fully grasp what type of talent was in front of me, but even as time went by my awe of Ray never faded and it never truly will. Players will come and go and Allen’s records will be broken, but nothing will ever change how I look at the player who altered the way I see the game of basketball. I think it is safe to say that Milwaukee and the Bucks will forever be grateful for all that he has done while here in Wisconsin. Neither the NBA, nor the Hall Of Fame, would be the same without you in them. So to you Ray Allen, forever my favorite basketball player, thank you.

 

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About Melissa Colton

Melissa was born and raised in West Allis, WI, but currently resides in Milwaukee. She is a veteran of the United States Army and has a Bachelors Degree in Sport Management. She has worked in both the sports and music industry. Anything from Wisconsin, sports, food, and beer is her happy place.

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