How Ray Allen Found Motivation


MIAMI — Admittedly, I have a special place in my heart for SLAM magazine. I worked there full time for a decade, and spent the last two years as SLAM‘s editor at large before I got drafted by So I’ve spent a lot of time in and around and inside the SLAM world. But yesterday I learned something new about SLAM that I never knew: Ray Allen credits SLAM with giving him daily motivation throughout his career.

SLAM‘s 20th anniversary issue is dropping soon, and as part of the issue, the guys at SLAM talked to a bunch of former cover athletes. When the folks at SLAM caught up with Ray Allen, he brought up something that has apparently been stuck in his craw for years:

I’ve had one gripe my whole career about SLAM and I still keep it ‘til this day. It’s probably one of my sole motivators on a daily basis and I don’t know if I ever told anybody this. When that article came out with all of us on the cover [of SLAM 15], it had the (predicted) accolades on the inside. It said most likely to win MVP, most likely to do this. One of them said most likely to fade into obscurity…..and it was me. I was 21 and I knew what obscurity meant, but I had to look it up because I needed to make sure. It pissed me off because I felt I was going to leave my mark on this league. Whoever wrote that pissed me off and it gave me motivation my whole career. I was like I want to be somebody who I’m going to leave my lasting mark on this league. As much as it pissed me off, it was a good thing because it always made me remember that there were people who thought I wasn’t going to be good. So that was motivation.

Ray was referring to the “Rookies Most Likely…” yearly feature, where SLAM writers assign a bunch of different awards to a bunch of different rooks. That is admittedly a thankless task, because there are only so many rookies, so we always ended up selecting guys who probably didn’t deserved to be singled out, but were basically caught up in a numbers game.

But hey, it could be worse, I suppose. At least Ray Allen figured out how to shoot corner threes.


  1. Costa says:

    Nice, just keep proving it until game 7 is over Ray!!Lets Goo!

    • Really? says:

      At least Ray Allen figured out how to shoot corner three’s? Is that an attempt at irony? Haha. I wonder if he still would have been a 10 time all-star if that article hadn’t been written.

  2. sally says:

    I think Ray Allen is great, I liked him when he was with Boston and I like him even more now that he’s with the Heat. He works hard and he is there when you need him, granted it took him a while to get adjusted but he has definitely made a huge difference in Miami’s team and he just keeps getting better. Thumbs up to Walter Ray Allan …. you go boy !!!

    • Clayton Forde says:

      Please don’t forget he was a All-American at U Conn and a consensus All Star for years with Supersonics while playing in Seattle.

    • Tom says:

      So you like him even more now he sold out and ring chasing?

      • Matthew says:

        Sold out? Nah you meant sold up! Signing with a contender is not selling out especially when you take LESS pay. Selling out usually means chasing MONEY at the expense of your skills, talents, or beliefs. Ray Allen is a competitor and he wanted a championship. And he was obviously able to use his skill and talents to their fullest. Ring chasing… nice term but if you’re are in the NBA and you are not chasing after the Championships then you are just money chasing and wasting the fans’ time.

  3. Gabriel Miranda says:

    “At least Ray Allen figured out how to shoot corner threes.”

    These people are ignorant, still discrediting his abilities, damn thats why their critics, in the end their opinion doesn’t matter.

  4. Rohan Wilks says:

    Big up SLAM. I remember that issue. Still have the poster with Kobe, Marbury, Ray, Nash, John Wallace, Marcus Camby (Iverson missed the photo shoot). It’s interesting when an ‘expert’ is proven dead wrong.

  5. Charlie says:

    “…so we always ended up selecting guys who probably didn’t deserved to be singled out, but were basically caught up in a numbers game.”

    With the main editor knowing this, that rookies were being singled out unnecessarily, why print such an article? Trashy journalism? or ethically unsound journalism…?

  6. Kevin says:

    They said the same thing about Paul George… They got at least 2 wrong

  7. canthought says:

    good thing i kept my complete set of ray allen rookie cards.

  8. leo bermudez says:

    ray was really the hero in game 6…

  9. Tom says:

    How can you like Allen more now he’s cut his salary to ring-chase with the Heat? I respected him right up until he bailed on Boston

  10. MICK says:

    So you’ll say that he’s a sellout because he didn’t sign w/ your favorite team??? C’mon dude…stop playing!!! Of course you’ll say that he’s a sellout, because that’s what the streets say. Boston kept using him for trade bait and there were issues w/ Rondo…he chose the higher found and look how he was rewarded.

  11. MICK says:


  12. Matthew says:

    Ray Allen is an absolute baller. And at his age able to still play good defense. Corner 3s? That guy can shoot the 3 from anywhere around the horn. He has been more streaky the last few years but oh well. Keep ballin’ Ray!!