Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Ideal Superstar


A Moose Track

A quick stutter-step. A shift of weight towards the basket. He blows by one man. He drives to the hoop and sees the seven-footer waiting for him and notices that he's funneling him left. The dribbler goes left anyways even though it's his off-hand, showing complete confidence in his skills to make the layup on the more uncomfortable side. He comes to the big man, puts it up with his left hand while shielding the ball, positioning himself where he should be, and faces roaring crowds.

Mark Jackson, the play-by-play man for this NBA Finals Game 4, decides to bring his own Allen perspective into it during the replay of the layup that sealed the Celtics' victory, "I want to play one-on-one with Vujacic. Its time to dance! This is for all of the marbles."

He shoots the lights out. He torches opponents with 5-7 three point shooting close to weekly. He can drive to the hoop on any defender, even if he chooses not to sometimes. He isn't the greatest on defense, yet he plays on this side of the court as hard as the next guy. He is one of the leaders on an experienced team.

Yet the man does so without a scream after a basket. Without a taunt to the refs, the crowd or the opponent. Without a finger wag, an I-can't-feel-my-face wave or "Hibachi!" scream to the fans. He does so often without a smile. Ray Allen defines three words: "smooth", "cool", and, especialy "classy".

When you watch Ray play basketball, the first two words come to mind almost immediately. He comes off a pick on the wing, receives a pass and immediately puts up a beautiful jumper towards the hoop, with textbook form on the follow-through and timing. The ball lofts up in a perfect parabola, swimming through the net with a sweet swish. The whole play is something beautiful to watch, just smooth.

When Ray decides to drive to the hoop, he does so with perfect composure--nothing fazes him, he isn't worried by flying defenders on breakaway layups, he just does it coolly, smoothly. And he gets the two from it every time. When Allen shoots free throws it is also smooth and cool, lining himself up during a concise line routine, and letting if fly--making over 90% of them.

Ray Allen is a superstar--an offensive juggernaut that will get you shots from beyond the arc when you need them. He holds the NBA record for most treys made in one season with 269 in 2005-06. The lowest average from beyond the arc that Sugar Ray has had for one season was .351 for '02-'03 in Seattle. He is a three-point machine while finding other ways to score as well, averaging over 20 points per contest 9 times in his distinguished 13 year career.

He plays like this, yet--it's quiet. Somewhat unnoticed. He lacks the antics of other more creative superstars, and because of it, he is forced to dominate quietly. He was slightly overshadowed in Milwaukee as he shared the squad with Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassel, the cause being his young age for lack of coverage, even though he played well from the start. He was slightly missed in Seattle because, well, nobody cared about the SuperSonics enough. In Boston he is getting more recognition playing for a more elite team, but the personalities of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett captivate people enough to not care as much about Ray. He's been to 8 all-star games, yet he hasn't been voted on by the fans one time.

I'm not saying that he's underrated. I'm not saying that everything he does goes unnoticed by all. He is just quiet in what he does. He seldom argues with the refs. When Allen stands onto a basketball court and puts on his uniform, it's just business as usual--and you best believe that he's going to take care of that business.

He is a quiet superstar, seldom fazed. He is married and has a child. He won the NBA Sportsmanship award in 2003. He was named The Sporting News "Good Guy" in 2000, '01 and '05. He participates in charities often and is the spokesperson for them. He never trashes opponents, always gives his teammates the responsibility for a win, stressing the role of "team" in games. Hell, he even acted in a movie when he was younger. He says the right things at the right times, understands his role in the world, to model a great one (unlike Mr. Barkley), and he is down-to-earth enough to know that he is not above everyone else. Players and men like Ray Allen are rare in the NBA and every other organization; Allen is the epitome of class.

Why can't we have more Ray Allen's?

--Moose

15 comments:

jameyburke said...

Exactly-why not more Rays..? Because there's only one baby! SugarRay is awesome-he does everything (and more) w/out pounding his chest, without tattooing "Hold My Own" on his neck, without feeling the need to have a 20 man entourage and without RUNNING HIS MOUTH. Damn, you said it: "why can't...."
(and he gets the sweetest AJ's)

BET said...

Moose, we give your piece 'time to shine' and did not think you would use our 'Posting Cease-Fire' to drop another one.

But i liked the article.

Moose said...

Nah BET you misunderstood--I was going to send out a group email but because you and Presto don't check it--no offense or anything--this sort of signified that it was time to move off of that. But thanks, guys. BET, tomorrow it's all yours. And everyone else as well.

Justin Walsh said...

I love this piece, and love that you say moose track. but remember, Ray Allen did a threesome sex scene in He Got Game. He's not TOTALLY ideal ;)

Moose said...

Justin, maybe Spike Lee isn't totally ideal. But Ray is the man, dude. Thanks for reading. You know where I got the Moose Track from! I give you full and undivided credit.

jameyburke said...

Big day in the "L" today. Bynum out, TheRapist drops 61 on NYC and CP3 also injured....What's next? Celtics beat LA by 20..? Probably.

Roy said...

True dat, Moose! Sugar Ray is THE MAN. :D

Eboy said...

I hope Tariq doesn't read this!!!

Moose said...

Why, Eboy?

jameyburke aka Banner18 said...

Moose-you may be on tv Wednesday. CelticsNow filmed a segment w/Scot Pollard on the wood before the Kings game. I think I saw the courtside kids in the background. Tomorrow at 6pm on CSN.

Moose said...

Ohhh, Jameyburke, this is exciting. Thanks for the tip-off. I'll let everyone know if I am...

jameyburke said...

Sure..and I'd say SugarRay proved again why's he great tonight...!

Hursty said...

Because Tariq is a Laker fan Moose. A newly minted one at that.

Moose said...

Ray Allen with the game-winning three, with .5 seconds left. Yes, I'd say he did his stuff last night. TWO clutch threes.

Moose said...

BACHI GUYS CHECK GROUP EMAIL.

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