Milwaukee Bucks: All-Time Greatest 15 Man Roster

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Ray Allen – Shooting Guard

Words by John Heffernon

If shooting the basketball is an art form then there may be no greater artist than Ray Allen.

He’s currently the NBA leader in regular season three-pointers made and attempted and the leader in post season three-pointers made. He also holds the record for consecutive seasons leading the NBA in three-point attempts. Ray has the seventh best free throw shooting percentage, 89.4 percent, in NBA history.

All those great shooting numbers led Ray to being one of the best offensive players of all-time. He is 16th all time in offensive win-shares and 15th all time in offensive box plus/minus at 111.7 and 4.2, respectively.

Ray Allen was drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1996 Draft and was traded to Milwaukee in a draft day trade. He played just over six and a half seasons for the Bucks, from 1996-97 to 2002-03 (where he was traded after 47 games to the Seattle SuperSonics).

In those six plus years in Milwaukee, Ray Allen’s per game averages were 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 36.3 minutes. He shot 45 percent on field goals, 41 percent from three point land, and 88 percent from the free throw line. Allen played in 96.3 percent of regular season games while he was on the roster in Milwaukee.

Allen holds a plethora of Bucks franchise records. They include: consecutive games played (400, from 11/1/96 to 12/20/01), three-point field goals made – career (1,051), three-point field goals made – season (229, 2001–02), three-point field goals made – game: 10 (vs. Charlotte Hornets, April 14, 2002), three-point field goals made – half (8, second half, vs. Charlotte Hornets, April 14, 2002), three-point field goal attempts – season (528, 2001–02), and three-point field goal attempts – game (17, at Cleveland Cavaliers, December 9, 2002).

Ray Allen’s penchant for scoring, consistency, and durability are some of the reasons he was honored as the 3rd best of the 20 greatest players in franchise history during Milwaukee’s 40th Anniversary Team Celebration in 2008.

Ray Allen took the Bucks to within one game of the NBA Finals during the 2000-01 season. He averaged 22.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.5 SPG in 82 games, leading his team to a 52-30 record and the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

In the first round of the playoffs the Bucks were matched up against the Orlando Magic and the series pitted Tracy McGrady vs. Ray Allen. Both stars dominated but Ray took control of the series when in game three in Orlando he took the game to overtime with a monstrous slam over McGrady (as seen above). The Bucks won the game in OT and then went on to win the series.

The Bucks then faced the Hornets in an Eastern Conference Semi-Finals matchup. The Bucks took the first two games of the series, but Charlotte responded by winning the next three games. Milwaukee fought back, against a 3-2 deficit, and would win the series in seven games.

Next came the biggest moment in Ray’s Bucks career, the Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. This series, like the Round 1 matchup, pitted two stars against each other, Ray Allen and Allen Iverson.

Philly had home court but the Bucks managed to steal a game. Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead, but Philadelphia won two in a row after. Facing a 3-2 deficit, Ray pounded the 76ers with 41 points as Milwaukee won 110-100 and lived to fight another day.

The Bucks lost Game Seven 108-91 and the series 4-3. Allen was the Bucks best player with averages of 27.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 5.4 APG in the seven game series.

Two years after the Eastern Conference Finals battle, Ray Allen was traded to Seattle. The craziest thing about the Allen – Bucks episode is that he wanted to stay in Milwaukee his whole career.

"“That’s what I planned on; that’s what I had hoped,” Allen said of staying in Milwaukee. “I was looking at building and trying to create something great. I always modeled my career after what Brett Favre did in Green Bay; they won a Super Bowl. I didn’t feel I needed to be in a big market to achieve greatness or even to win a championship. It was all about trying to create a mentality of having a dynasty here. We started doing that. I think we were one or two players away from doing that.”"

As with many great NBA players, it just didn’t work out with Coach George Karl and Allen, and he found reason to trade him for a return that was nowhere near equal value. Karl was the catalyst that got Allen out of Milwaukee.

It’s sad because Ray Allen enjoyed being here and was going to be a superstar here. He was exactly what the Bucks have been looking for since his departure: an incredibly talented star, a great work ethic, a great locker room presence, and the willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

Ray Allen, even in a limited career with the Bucks, is one of the best players in Milwaukee history. As the superstar and number one option for Milwaukee, he took the team to heights that only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ever exceeded.

I think that he deserves to be remembered as a Bucks great because of his desire to stay with the franchise, getting traded wasn’t his fault, and because he gave the Bucks some great memories while being a good guy and playing in almost every game.

Other accolades Ray Allen received while a member of the Milwaukee Bucks: three All-Star selections from 2000-2002, All Rookie Second Team in 1996-97, All NBA Third Team in 2000-01, 2000-01 Three Point Shootout Winner (All-Star weekend event) in 2000-01, and The Sporting News “Good Guy” Award in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Next: Bob Dandridge