The Heat might have aged out of title contention, even with LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They need a younger, more-energized supporting cast.
So what’s next for Ray Allen, who turns 39 next month? Not only is he Miami’s oldest player, he’s the oldest by three years!
the guard said retirement is an option.
“I guess everything [is factored into the decision],” he said Thursday before the Heat lost to the Spurs, 107-86, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. “You get away from it, you sit down and get an opportunity to think about it. It depends on how my body feels. I love the condition I’ve been in over the last couple of years. It’s just a natural progression.”
“I don’t look at this as an age thing for me, it’s never been an age thing,” said Allen, who was averaging 9.6 points in the playoffs entering Game 4. “I always laugh because I see the birthdates of the some of the younger guys. They’re born in the ’90s. In the ’90s! I was kicking it hard in the ’90s.
Allen hasn’t lost a step in the quote department. “They’re born in the ’90s. In the ’90s! I was kicking it hard in the ’90s” is pure gold.
But Allen has lost a step on the court.
Game 4 showcased what Allen brings in his advanced age. He made 2-of-4 3-pointers, but he also committed four fouls in 30 minutes and was -18.
Shooting ages well, and Allen will remain an NBA-caliber shooter for a long time. The key question is whether he can continue doing anything else well enough to get on the court.
Now that Derek Fisher has retired to coach the Knicks, Allen is the NBA’s third-oldest active player – behind Steve Nash and Mike James. But Allen has kept himself in such good shape, he often reminds us of his Jesus Shuttlesworth days.
If Allen wants to play next year, he’ll get signed. Teams will covet his shooting, at least attached to a minimum-salary contract. And his famous work ethic makes him a role model every team desires, regardless of how he produces on the floor.
He’s also played professional basketball for 18 years. Maybe he wants to move onto the next stage of his life.
To his credit, he’s positioned himself where the decision is his.