Ray Allen – Milwaukee’s Biggest What If
One of the best Milwaukee Bucks players to play the game said goodbye to the NBA on Tuesday morning when Ray Allen officially retired from the league. He’s 41 and got mentioned in a lot of rumors about attempting a comeback. Allen never joined a team though. He’s officially retired, and we can remember him as one of the greatest Milwaukee Bucks players of all-time. He also is one of the biggest ‘what if’ in Milwaukee sports history after he left not on his terms.
It’s hard to recall the day when Bucks specifically George Karl traded Allen to Seattle Supersonics for Gary Payton. I believe I saw the local news and couldn’t believe it then immediately felt bad for my friend, Josh, who was a massive Ray fan. Bucks stunned the world, and it’s cliche to say, but if Twitter were around, Bucks Twitter would have melted down. The trade failed in all shape and sense of the world, and it’s a major stain on Karl’s legacy as a coach here in Milwaukee.
What if Allen and Karl worked out their differences, or the team chose Allen over Karl, would the Bucks mid-2000’s look any different? Barring injury, I don’t think they tank out and get Andrew Bogut in the 2005 NBA Draft. Michael Redd probably never becomes a 100 million dollar player, but I’m sure would have been a solid bench piece. Imagine Milwaukee having Redd and Allen on the court at the same time. They would have been a lesser version of the ‘Splash Brothers.’ It’s unrealistic to think Allen would have stayed his full career a Buck, but if Milwaukee could have had a few extra years with him, that would have been a wonderful thing.
Allen is the 90’s generation Bucks player people look to when talking about the past. Brett Favre for Green Bay, and Brewers really don’t have one memorable one – Richie Sexson? Allen would have been thought of by fans and the city alike in even higher regard, if that’s possible, had Milwaukee kept him for most of the 2000’s.
So long Ray, enjoy retirement.