Barring a complete meltdown, Ray Allen should tie — and break — Reggie Miller's all-time NBA three-pointers made record tonight. He's just one away. Even better, his Celtics play the Lakers on national TV, and Reggie himself will be there. No pressure. We talked to the 35-year-old 10-time All-Star yesterday about the record, his work ethic, and his little shoe problem.
Complex: How you been?
Ray Allen: Just tryin’ to dig out. Ice and snow and everything.
Complex: Well, let’s talk about the record – are you happy to be at the point where it’s gonna be over with?
Ray Allen: I guess to me it’s never really over with, because having a record you still have so many opportunities to really put it out of reach, so just when you break it doesn’t mean that it’s – its still mine, and the number whatever it’s gonna be is how far I continue to want to push it. It’s like – Cal Ripken, he actually got a chance to sit down and decide what his record was gonna be.
Complex: You have a chance to break it while Reggie [Miller]’s in the building – does that add something a little extra to it?
Ray Allen: Yeah, it’s kind of serendipitous knowing that all these things came into play – being able to play against the Lakers, a nationally televised game, Reggie’s gonna be there. It just seems like the most appropriate moment for it to happen.
Complex: Does it feel the same right now? When you’re shooting a three now, is there a little more weight on it?
Ray Allen: Not really. Actually, it feels a little bit lighter. In the last maybe 20-30 games, the three-ball just has felt like – the ball’s in the air, it’s up, and it’s like I don’t even have to think about it. And I don’t know if it’s the way I’m shootin’ it, I don’t know, but it seems like it’s just flowin’.
Complex: I guess it’s no coincidence that you’re going to break the record of someone’s pregame routine was a lot like yours – getting to the gym super-early and putting up a lot of shots. Is that something you picked up from him, or were you doing it before you knew how Reggie operated?
Ray Allen: Yeah, I didn’t even know how Reggie operated. How I incorporated it was, trying to figure out how I could get in the gym when nobody else was around so I could get up my shots. Because I went through phases early in my career in Milwaukee where I’d be shooting and there’d be another guy on the floor, and you’re trying to make your shots and somebody’s always in your way. The only people I have to worry about now are cheerleaders when I’m out there on the floor in my way.
Complex: How early are you talking about?
Ray Allen: I like to get on the court three hours before the game. That way I can get out of everybody’s way and I can do what I need to do for me and get up the shots that I need and then be in the locker room and getting my stuff taken care of physically – if I need treatment or whatever may be.
Complex: Do you take days off during the season or are you getting up shots every day?
Ray Allen: It depends on the schedule. Sometimes the best shots you can put up are the ones when you don’t shoot the ball – you gotta give your legs a rest sometimes.
Complex: When you guys played the Pacers would you and Reggie show up at the same time sometimes?
Ray Allen: Yeah, there were times when I’d come out there and shoot and he was already out there. I would see him out there when I was shootin’. And it was funny, I would always think ‘yeah, we have basically the same formula.’
Complex: Did you ever talk to him about it?
Ray Allen: Nope. Nope. It’s like you share the same brain when it comes to working out and taking care of your body, so you just look up and you say ‘yeah, it’s a reason why you are who you are and where you are.’ It’s never a coincidence that the best guys are the ones who work the hardest. People think that ‘he’s great so he works hard,’ no, ‘he’s great because he works hard.’
Complex: Have you been able to pass that on to any of your teammates over the years?
Ray Allen: You know, it’s funny, because I preach it a lot – there are a couple of guys who’ve picked up on it – but I would say maybe 20-30 percent of my teammates have picked up on it that don’t have, the young guys that don’t have the work ethic, but most of ‘em aren’t committed enough to pick it up, and decide they want to do something great, and either ride the bench for most of their careers or even out of the league.
Complex: I’m sure you could go through a whole list.
Ray Allen: Yeah, because too many guys think that you get to the NBA, you’ve made it and you’re successful, so you want to enjoy it, you wanna have fun, you gotta celebrate after a game, hang out a little bit. But for me it’s never been that way. It’s about being the best.
Complex: Do you think that attitude is what’s helping you now? You’re in your mid-30s, a lot of guys from your draft even are gone now or winding down, and you’re still able to maintain that high level.
Ray Allen: Yeah, because once you get towards the end of your career you don’t concede the fact that ‘ok, I’m older, my body’s not responding the same, I’m not gonna go at it as hard and still do it,’ but in some cases you have to work twice as hard to stay where you were four or five years ago. So now, if you wanna keep up with it, you have to put a little more work in it, so that’s all I’ve done is work a little bit harder at it.
Complex: So I know you’ve been a Jordan guy forever – you got anything special in mind for the nationally televised possible record-breaking night?
Ray Allen: Yeah, I mean, I’m trying to think about what I got. I’m definitely gonna wear something a little different, so we’ll see.
Complex: But you haven’t figured out exactly what yet?
Ray Allen: No, I haven’t – I’ve got a lot in my closet, so I’m gonna see what I’ll end up wearing.
Complex: Was gonna say, you’ve been with Jordan for a long time now, how many pairs do you think you’re sitting on?
Ray Allen: Maybe 3-4,000, somewhere around there.
Complex: All at the house?
Ray Allen: No, I’ve got a pod, too. I’ve got a couple pods I keep my shoes in.
Complex: What do you keep as far as shoes you’ve worn already?
Ray Allen: Ones I’ve worn I end up giving away, but what I do is, mostly each shoe that I’ve have, I always have ones that I’ve never worn, I try and keep a couple pairs of all the shoes I haven’t worn, the style of them.
Complex: Do you consider yourself a bit of a collector?
Ray Allen: Yeah. Yup, I’m borderline a hoarder now ‘cause I got so many pairs. Once you get borderline that means you got a lot.
Complex: Do you get pairs throughout the year?
Ray Allen: Yup. Last shipment was a week ago – maybe about 15 pairs of shoes.
Complex: Do you have a favorite that you’ve worn?
Ray Allen: No, because they’re all unique. There’s always something different. I like different colors – think about different ways you can wear ‘em. What I’ve done is I’ve gravitated towards wearing styles of shoes with – because I have different color button-down shirts, and I wear suits and ties with the shoes, and jeans.
Complex: Because I know a lot of people thought those gold XIs were ridiculous. So you still have pairs of those left.
Ray Allen: Yeah, I do.
Complex: For All-Star, you’re back in the three-point contest again, 10th anniversary from when you won it last time – you looking forward to that?
Ray Allen: Yeah, I mean, it’s a great contest. The three-point contest is probably the one contest in the NBA that it’s always good to sit there and watch – just watch the guys do what they do, shoot the ball. There’s a lot of great shooters in the league that can potentially win, it’s just all about who goes on a roll.
Complex: And your teammate Paul Pierce is the defending champ – has there been a lot of talk back and forth?
Ray Allen: Yeah – everybody says in order for me to win I gotta dethrone the champ, so I’ve been hearin’ that. So we’ll see.
Complex: It’s a Celtic tradition dating back to Larry Bird. You looking forward to All-Star, too? Once again, going back with a bunch of teammates.
Ray Allen: Yeah, that’s what makes it fun – it’s not like you’re just going one person and everybody else is going on vacation – my whole team will be there, so everybody gets to join in together and enjoy i