I wrote a little bit about Ray Allen's next chapter for Crossover Chronicles today. His demeanor in this entire move to the bench struck me. Here's how my piece started:
For nearly 16 full NBA seasons, Ray Allen has glided across lacquered hardwood with a gracefulness that belies the true physical toll the sport inflicts on ones body. In his youth, when he still sported a fade and was known by some more for being Jesus Shuttlesworth than Walter Ray Allen, he would just as easily embarrass someone with a poster dunk (he was in a dunk contest, you know) as he would with a pure-as-gold three with a hand in his face.
Ray Allen is pure. He was built to play the sport of basketball, mostly by a work ethic that some might say fits all the classic signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. His game has evolved into much less slashing and much more shooting because, as we are all well aware (or will be… trust me on that) time stops for no one. The ugly march forward spares no soul, not even one who has created a body built to resist its grip. Like water slowly polishing stones along the shore line, the passing years have stripped dimensions away from Ray Allen's game.
It goes on for a little while. I admit I sort of poured my heart out a little when it comes to Ray. But I also felt like he deserved it. Here's the whole piece.