Miami Heat Rumors: Ray Allen Won't Retire at Season's End

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJanuary 24, 2013

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 20:  Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ray Allen is having a productive season in his first year with the Miami Heat, so it would be a mind-boggling decision for the former All-Star to retire at season's end.

News first came to light about Allen's possible plans to hang up his jersey in a piece by Gery Woelfel of

Yet, while it appears Allen still has more than fumes in his tank, the Miami Heat reserve guard acknowledges he may be closer to his career finish line than people think.

“I don’t know when I’ll retire,” said Allen, who began his pro career in Milwaukee in 1996 and spent six-plus productive seasons with the Bucks before being dealt to Seattle. “I’d like to get through the year first. I feel great; my body feels good. I just got to get through.

“I’m at a point where I’ve been pretty successful and I’ve gotten to the point where I really understand the game and how to play it.

“But I’m not going to be that guy who just hangs on. At some point, I can let it go.”

Allen has certainly had a fantastic, Hall of Fame career and is no doubt one of the greatest shooters the NBA has ever seen. Even at the age of 37, reduced role and all, Allen is still a major part of what the Heat do.

Upon signing a three-year deal at the mini mid-level amount (around $3 million per), it was well documented that Allen would be coming off the bench to give Miami some much needed support.

In 38 games, Allen hasn't disappointed, scoring 11.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. The former Boston Celtics great has also remained a stellar shooter from beyond the arc, shooting at a nearly 44 percent clip for the season.

That ranks Allen eighth in the NBA, proving he is still very much an elite shooter from long range. Overall, Allen is shooting 47 percent from the field, which is actually higher than his 45 percent career average.

Another thing that has made Allen vital to the Heat is his clutch shooting down the stretch of games. If Miami needs a big shot, especially from long distance, Allen has been the guy to get it done.

An example of clutch can be seen in the video below in which Allen drains a three, leading to a four-point play.

Or how about this one.

Need I say more? Clearly age hasn't stopped Allen from being the big shotmaker that he's always been.

While Allen has flourished in his reserve role with the Heat, his starting days might not be that far behind him. The team's starting shooting guard, Dwyane Wade, has dealt with injuries on numerous occasions throughout his career.

If Wade were to get bitten by the injury bug in a more serious way—which is certainly plausible as he gets older—that would help promote Allen to starting shooting guard, where he would have the benefit of working with LeBron James on a more regular basis.

Normally when players retire, it is because they have lost a lot in their game or they just aren't as important to their respective team as they once were.

That is not the case with Allen, and his importance to the team makes the 37-year-old relevant even today.

Allen still has plenty more to contribute to Miami in the next few years to come, so it would be foolish if one of the greatest shooters of all time retires after this season.