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Ray Allen says going to Bucks as a rookie ‘gave me a foundation’

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Today, Ray Allen is regarded as one of the best shooters in NBA history. But the all-time leader in three-pointers credits his humble beginnings with the Milwaukee Bucks as the component that set him up for a successful career.

Allen told Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo! Sports that spending the early part of his career in Milwaukee kept him grounded and helped him focus on basketball.

These guys were so frugal. The money wasn’t as big. Maybe one of the highest-paid players is making like $1.6 or $1.7 million, so you saw the way they carried themselves. They weren’t driving fancy cars. Everybody rented cars or had cars through a dealership. It just gave us an example. It was just a different mentality to come to Milwaukee, and it gave me a foundation.

The Bucks acquired the draft rights to Allen in 1996 after Allen had an impressive career at the University of Connecticut. Despite mostly being known for his shooting prowess, Allen had incredible bounce in his younger days, and he was one of the better offensive playmakers in the NBA.

Allen blossomed in his final few years in Milwaukee, and he was an All-Star in three consecutive seasons between 1999 and 2002 before he was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics, where he put the league on notice as one of the better scorers in basketball.

It is fascinating to hear Allen reflect on his days in Milwaukee, mostly because of the parallels with current Bucks star Giannis Antentokounmpo.

The reigning league MVP has been adamant about his love for the city of Milwaukee, and has repeatedly stated that he prefers playing in smaller markets. Perhaps Allen’s endorsement of Milwaukee will ring even truer for Antentokounmpo as he looks to lead the Bucks to the NBA Finals.