A few days ago, Ray Allen spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Iam Thomsen about hitting game-winners. The article came at the wrong time, just a couple days after Ray Allen missed a wide open three to beat L.A.
But Ray probably didn’t get too down about missing that potentially game-winning shot.
“I’ve missed plenty of [win-or-lose] shots,” Allen said six days earlier. “People leave you alone when you miss a shot, or [they say], ‘You’ll get it next time.’ But when you make a shot, they talk about it for two days like it’s the greatest thing.”
Even though Allen missed his opportunity to send Boston to a big win over the rival Lakers, he had prepared himself for years — decades, even — to take the shot.
“That’s the way that I train myself,” Allen said. “I was on the treadmill this morning running — you do everything you can do to condition your heart to beat in times where the atmosphere takes a jump to another level, where the energy juices up everything, and now you’re sitting there thinking” — he exhales — “I’m rising with this energy. But then you’re able to calm yourself, and you’re not allowing your emotions to take you out. So you still can think.”
While Celtics fans may be agonizing over the pressure, Allen is focusing on what he has done so many times before. This opportunity to win the game with one shot is something he has earned — or so he reminds himself.
“The last-second shots, they’re one of those things, when you go to do it, you don’t think about it,” he said. “Because this is what you’ve done forever. It just so happens this is the last three or four minutes when everybody else is thinking, Boy, we’ve got to do this for the game. But I’m just thinking, Get the ball right here, and I’ll get to my spot and let it fly.
“Have you ever seen those panoramic views of a stadium, where you look down and everything’s channeled on the court and you see all these people surrounding the court? Everybody’s focused right in and that one guy is shooting a free throw, and everybody is thinking, Man, how do you make that shot while everybody is watching you? Because all these eyes are around you watching, and then there’s everybody watching on TV. But for us, it’s just one man, one basket, one ball, and you’re just there looking at the rim. You never think about the gravity of the situation.”
“For us, it’s just one man, one basket, one ball, and you’re just there looking at the rim.” What a great quote.
Read the rest of the article HERE. Even though it also features Kobe Bryant, it’s a cool look at game-winning shots and what players are thinking before and after they take them.