NBA star Ray Allen has shot his last 3-pointer—the former Sonics, Bucks, Celtics, and Heat guard officially retired from the league during the 2016-17 season.
Allen won two NBA titles during his career, one as part of the “Boston 3 Party” super team with the Celtics in 2008, and the other as a member of the Miami Heat super team in 2013 alongside Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.
Allen basically single-handedly kept Miami alive for that championship with his amazing last-second three against the San Antonio Spurs, showing off why he was one of the best shooters the NBA had ever seen. Allen perfected his skill by going through an intense shooting routine before every game of his career and because he trained to keep his body in peak physical form.
Allen set the all-time record in 3-pointers made while he was with the Celtics, and during his time in Boston he honed a conditioning routine that helped him keep his stamina and endurance at a high level. Here’s a look at that routine and how Allen prepared to hit the hardwood each night.
The Routine: Recovering From Ankle Surgery
Back in 2007, the Boston Celtics strength and conditioning coaches, Walter Norton Jr. and Bryan Doo, worked overtime to get Ray Allen ready for 2007-’08 after he underwent double ankle surgery during the off-season.
“We were concerned about getting his joints to move well again,” says Norton, “as well as strengthening his lower body, from his ankle to his knee to his hip.” Most athletes, the trainers say, tend to be quad-dominant, so they had Allen train with resistance bands to recruit his glutes when running or jumping.
“When he’s on the court,” says Doo, “we want him to use all his muscles, not just his quads.” The bands also help Allen focus on proper mechanics. “In an effort to get him more explosive, we’ve had to try and teach him how to land all over again,” says Norton.
Allen performs nearly every exercise in an athletic position to simulate how his body moves on the hardwood.
He may have a band around his ankles or knees while squatting, lunging, or reaching.
“He’ll train in shoes one day and bare feet the next to change the stimulus,” Norton adds.
Allen might stand on one foot while a staff member throws him medicine balls at different heights,allowing him to work on his balance.
“He has to use muscles in his core to slow the ball down,” says Doo.
This sort of functional training, combined with Allen’s attitude, has kept him healthy and performing at a high level this season. “Ray is a pro,” Norton says. “He definitely understands the value of what we do.”
Game Day Routine:
Allen rarely forced a bad shot on the court, so it’s no surprise that his discipline extends to pregame training rituals. Before tip-off, Allen sticks to a rigid schedule so he’s always ready to rain his sweet jumper from anywhere on the floor.
Wakes up, reads the paper, eats Aunt Jemima pancakes (plenty of carbs) made with blueberries (a superfood rich in antioxidants).
Attends morning shoot-around at training facility in nearby Waltham, Mass., just to get his blood flowing.
Eats lunch. Usually a lean turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
Takes a two-hour nap. “This is my time to relax and recharge,” he says.
Eats pregame meal—generally baked chicken and rice with broccoli. “I ate too many heavy starches when I was younger and it seemed like my legs were always heavy starting games,” Allen says.
Arrives at TD Banknorth Garden three hours before tip-off. Runs through rigorous shooting drills, simulating every possible shot he could take in the game. He launches about 200 shots in an hour and on a good day will convert 170.
Stretches and replenishes with two peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches on wheat bread, plus 32 ounces of water.
Game time. Between his pregame work and his off-season workout regimen, Allen knows he’s ready for almost anything. “When I’m on the floor, I’m not going to break down,” he says. “I’m not going to be breathing heavy or panting. I’m either chasing somebody or they’re chasing me. But I can outlast them. When that happens, I’m going to make my move and get my shot off before they can stop me.”
Postgame cooldown with his feet in a tub of ice. “Just my feet for 15 minutes,” he says.
Bedtime. There’s another day of preparation on the horizon.
The Celtics staff makes sure Allen’s hamstrings are loose before tip-off.
Allen gets focused (and a quick pump) on the sidelines.