With news that the Celtics will be giving the No. 20 to Gordon Hayward one question arose. Should this jersey number be given out?
Ray Allen, who was acquired from the Seattle Super Sonics on June 28, 2007, sported this number for In his five season in Boston.
Allen, who was a key piece of the “Big 3” and played a pivotal role in the Celtics capturing the 2008 NBA Championship, was a three-time All-Star and is arguably one of the best shooters in the history of the game, if not the best.
Allen had a prosperous career playing in 1,300 regular season games in addition to 171 bouts in the postseason. Allen scored a total of 24,505 points and dished out 4,361 assists. But his best asset was the trey. He holds the NBA record for career 3-pointers with 2,973.
In Game No. 2 of the 2009 NBA Finals Allen sunk a postseason record eight makes from beyond the arc.
On Feb. 10, as a member of the Celtics, Allen passed Reggie Miller for the NBA’s all-time 3-point record with make number 2,561.
Over his time in Boston, Allen played in 358 games, averaged 35.7 minutes per game, averaged 16.7 points and shot .409 from 3-point land.
However, after the end of the 2011-12 season, in which the Celtics were eliminated 4-3 at the hands of the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals, Allen took his talents to Miami, leaving a richer offer on the table from Boston.
Allen joined LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The four would win the NBA Championship that season, the sharpshooters’s seconded to last one.
The pros of retiring Allen’s number is that odds are, without him the Celtics wouldn’t have championship banner No. 17 in the rafters. Allen poured in 20.3 points per game in the finals. His career Celtics stats line of isn’t the greatest in team history, but isn’t bad considering the talent around him.
Beyond the individual numbers, the team’s success in the “Big 3” era was directly tied to Allen’s presence. The Celtics advanced past the first round in all five of his seasons in Boston, which produced three trips to the Conference Finals, two NBA Finals appearances and one NBA Title. However, Allen’s controversial decision to leave Boston for Miami in the summer of 2012 still hurts many fans.
The Celtics offered him $6 million more in annual salary and still, he went to South Beach. His decision could be in part due to the under appreciation that the team had towards him. You might not remember, but Allen was demoted to sixth man in favor of Avery Bradley during the playoffs and was part of trade rumors for three years in a row. It’s a business, but for athletes who give it their all, it can be hard to always be at the center of trade rumors.
Some of the downside to his number to beintg retired is he spent seven seasons in both Seattle and with the Milwaukee Bucks and they were seven of his 10 All-Star campaigns. For his entire career, with the exception of his playing time in Boston, he donned the number 34. But, when he arrived in Boston, that number was of course already taken, forcing him to make the switch.
In all, Allen deserves to have his number retired somewhere. However, due to the Celtics having such a long history, the team has to be due diligent with which numbers deserve to be retired. However, his number still might get retired by the Celtics one day.