We always knew Ray Allen was as classy as they come. In a sport — a society, really — often marred by reckless behavior, poor decisions, and lawlessness, Ray Allen is a shining light of class. He has always carried himself in a manner that sets a good example for everyone who looks up to him as a role model, in a manner that endears my mother to him. (And if my mom likes you, you’re probably a great guy. She doesn’t like very many athletes, but the one’s she does are usually the epitome of class.)
So when Ray reached a milestone (20,000 points) last night, how else would he handle himself but with the utmost class?
Here’s Ray, speaking about the milestone. (Via the Boston Globe):
“It’s interesting how basketball’s such a team sport, but it’s governed by so many individual statistics,’’ Allen said. “I’m just grateful I’ve had great teammates, I’ve had great coaches, and I’ve had pretty good organizations, and that’s helped me be where I am today.’’
When he came to the Celtics in 2007, scoring was obviously less of an emphasis for him than it was earlier in his career with the Bucks and Sonics. But, he said, he learned early about the value of sharing over scoring.
“What I did learn, somewhere around my fourth or fifth year, is that the more I pass the ball, the more it’s going to come back to me,’’ said Allen, who finished with 18 points in the 104-102 victory. “So that’s a philosophy that for a long time I’ve lived by.
“I’ve always been aware of the team. I’ve always been conscious of another player, trying to get him going, because I’ve always felt the game will gravitate towards me at some point.’’
More than anything else, that’s what makes me root for Ray. He not only says the right things, but does the right things.
If you asked me, I’d have to say Ray Allen is the second classiest athlete there is, behind only Tiger Woods.
Then again, maybe he’s the very classiest.
On an unrelated note, I also reached a milestone today: It was the first time I’ve ever used the word “classy” or a derivative of it more than five times in a single post. I think I’ll take all the credit for myself, though.