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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 5:17 pm  |  42 responses

Ray Allen: ‘I Was Having Back Problems’

Celtics sharpshooter explains reasons behind his improved performance.

by Tzvi Twersky | @ttwersky

Midway through last season, Ray Allen’s lackluster shooting was the biggest story in Boston. Speculation was abound as to what was plaguing the tremendous long-range shooter.

Was his name swirling in trade rumors weighing on him mentally? Had his age (34 at the time) finally caught up to him? Was he hurt?

The question never really was answered, and, when Allen’s shooting picked up in the second half of the season, his poor performance was pretty much forgotten by Celtics faithful.

Until today.

On a Jordan Brand facilitated phone call this afternoon, Ray Allen revealed to SLAM the cause of his lackluster half-season in ’09-10.

“People didn’t know then,” says Allen, “I was having back problems. I didn’t play right before the All-Star break last year, in New Orleans. I didn’t play the game because I couldn’t stand straight up. I was navigating through that, trying to get my body feeling right. And [now] my body feels great. I don’t know–it’s just my legs feel great; my body, my back feels good; and I don’t have too much going wrong with my body physically.”

This season, to date, Ray Allen is shooting a career-high 46 percent from behind the three-point line. He is also one three away from tying Reggie Miller’s record mark of 2560 career threes.

Visit SLAMonline.com tomorrow to hear much more from Ray Allen.

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  • dis_dood

    Best shooter to grace the NBA

  • The Big Cheese

    Thank God he’s gonna pass Reggie on the all-time list! I hate the thought of Reggie’s name atop any list. I’m not a Knicks fan, either, just hate the smug alien.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Hope the back is all better, if not, im sure Pierce would loan you his wheelchair..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    ^^^^ Boss Terry for the win!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    HGH is a helluva drug.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    BossTerry killed it ….. lmao

  • Clarence”Coffe Black”Withers

    “That boy good”

  • HAMMER

    “The doctor said I need a backiotomy”

  • nobrain

    yeah sure

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I can’t stand Ray Allen, he could never take a team to the top as the lead player, ask Bucks or Sonics. Now he is passing Reggie Miller, sad day for NBA fans. Also Ray thanks for costing the Celtics the ring with your bad shooting during the NBA finals. Lakers loved it. At least you had one good game. BOOK IT!!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    He’ll break the record tomorrow. Best shooter of all time?

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    @Moose
    Nope, best shooter of all time to me is Larry Bird, behind him is still Reggie Miller had more clutch plays and was the leader on his teams. Really what has Ray done as a leader, all he does is shoot threes and choke.

  • coggie13

    @the seed
    Best shooter, nothing to do with leading your team anywhere. How does he choke?
    that is a ridiculous comment.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I wasn’t here to see Larry, so I can’t exactly say, but I do know that Bird was famous for making huge shots and winning chips. Doesn’t mean that he’s the best SHOOTER. I wasn’t saying, “Is Ray the best player of all time who was known for making threes?”. And I think Ray’s made his fair share of clutch three-balls, too. I’m not saying like Larry, but “choke”??

  • coggie13

    @moose i agree.

  • HAMMER

    If any1 is gonna pass the gr8 reggie miller, I’m glad it’s shuttlesworth. Both r 2 of the gr8est shooters of all time. Both HOFamers. Can’t deny that

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Dan Marjle (?) Mitch Richmond, Dell Curry, Rex Chapman, Nick Van Exal, Tracy Murray, Glen Rice, Steve Smith… Other great long range shooters.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Smoothest stroke ever… Not necessarily the most clutch. But the most jumper ever, no doubt and him breaking Reggie’s record just cements his status as the best pure shooter ever – and I don’t even like the guy. Bird better player by far, Reggie more clutch (although RayRay is no slouch) but purest shooter is easily Ray Allen. Excuse the typos I’m drunk. Will fall asleep to Chi-Jazz now. Good night peops.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    *most beautiful jumper…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Completely co-sign Hammer. I couldn’t have said it any better.

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    I hope now people will stop talking as if Reggie Miller is better than Ray Allen.

  • Stillballin

    It’s good to see him still ballin in the NBA. Too bad Ai is not in the NBA no more.

  • K.a.

    Shooting only gets better with age (unless dude is outta shape). Guess rays toughness make up for pierce injury faking :p

  • http://www.slamonline.com Hossy

    Jesus Shuttlesworth!
    his jumper= poetry in motion

  • tony knorr

    @ seed the first time the current lakers core met the current celtics core in the finals three years ago how many three’s did ray hit in the final and Deciding game? my memory seems to be fuzzy could you please look that up for me. after your done that proceed to insert your foot further down your throat.

  • http://slamonline.com niQ

    The nicest J in the L!
    Man, Ray Allen could have 3 guys in his face and he’d still wet the 3. Cold as ice!

  • Dre Baller

    sure, he’s a got a nice & pretty jumper but the nicest & prettiest? of all time? i don’t know about that. sometimes his off hand flings forward too much for my liking and it looks like he’s shooting with both hands

  • tony knorr

    dre baller you need to go get your vision checked man. ray has never released a shot with anything anywhere near two hands in his life. When Ray was 5 years old he shot with one hand and his form was perfect. Jk but the chances are pretty good that his form was perfect when he was five.

  • Dre Baller

    ^ tony knorr… i know he doesn’t shoot with two hands; i said his off hand flings / flicks forward as he shoots so it LOOKS LIKE he’s shooting with both hands. anyway, it’s just my opinion. check it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5p9wV2RuKA

  • rob

    it dont effin matter. miller never won a ring so ray will end up #1 and ray has a few seasons left in his career. he will eclipse 3000 3′s

  • http://nba.com EJ

    What about Steve Nash? 49% from the field, 43% from deep and 90% from the line.

  • sim888
  • hoodsnake

    Those green AJ13s: YUCK!

  • Ronald

    Dre Baller has it right. I hate it when people say that he’s a good guy to emulate if you want to be a good shooter. His form is actually not as perfect as everyone thinks, and the reason he’s so accurate is in no small part due to his natural talent. I’ve seen him make shots where his feet are facing 30 degrees away from the basket.

  • vtrobot

    the nail marks in Jesus’ hands are also starting to heal, so that’s helped too. so deserving of the record. a true pro. and he did it in about 300 less games than reggie. @ The Seed, BOOK YR FU(KING ASS.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    are people really criticizing ray allen’s shooting form? seriously? name 2 other people who have made more 3′s than him in the NBA…oh right, you can’t. y’all are silly. …feet facing 30 degrees away from the basket, GTFOH.

  • ryan

    Seed clearly needs to pass whatever he’s smoking because Ray Allen is a far better player in every single aspect of the game that Reggie Miller ever was. Reggie Miller was always one of those guys who couldn’t be counted on to stop anyone while Ray Allen shoots as well and plays a complete game.

    As for the choke theory based on last years finals that’s either a) ignorance of the knee that Ron Artest put into Ray’s thigh or b) stupidity. If Ron doesn’t knee Ray the series doesn’t last long enough for Kendrick Perkins to be hurt and Ray Allen has two rings.

  • K.a.

    Ray allen may have a better skill set than reggie. But it doesnt make him a better player. For instace cwebb has a better than karl malone. Reggie has produced some big games, dont disrespect. Even when slam was making fun of reggie they still respect him. Somebody like reggie has more similarity to a that piston guard with the mask where they run screens for him, ray is a bit more multipurpose n can even run the point a bit.

  • Dre Baller

    @airs we not saying he’s a bad shooter or his shots aren’t accurate. he’s one of the greatest shooters of all time and is deserving of the record. however, all we saying is just that his shooting form is not as beautiful or perfect as everyone thinks

  • http://bulls.com airs

    well, thats definitely a matter of opinion. i personally think he has the best shooting form ive ever seen. much better than reggie’s flail and larry legend’s catapult, not to take anything away from them of course. feet set, jumps straight up, elbows in, quick relase. its just textbook, and it goes in.

  • Elvis Freshly

    lol @ seed, really? Ray Allen is a better o/a player than reggie. Better off the dribble and way more athletic. Reggie couldn’t cross you, take you to the hole and then slam one down on you. Guess some ppl forgot he was in the dunk contest in ’96.

  • BostonBaller

    Let’s not compare great shooters, it’s a matter of taste. Ray’s form is just fine (b/c the ball goes in) Ray has an all around game and that’s a fact so why argue, Ray is a nice guy and that’s a fact, records are meant to be broken and Ray just broke one and that’s a fact, even Ray gets hated on and that’s a fact. Fact is, he is still playing THE GAME at a high level at an older age on a not so well liked team and it pisses some fans off. Tooty says that’s the facts of life. lol

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