Ray Allen reveals ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment involving Michael Jordan
Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen pretty much saw it all in his 18-year career in the NBA. However, regardless of how decorated his tenure turned out to be, the two-time NBA champ was also once an inexperienced youngster in the league.
Recently, the 44-year-old shared what he considers to be his “welcome to the NBA moment” as a 21-year-old rookie with the Milwaukee Bucks. Speaking to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, Allen shared that for him, this memorable rite of passage came to be when the great Michael Jordan literally welcomed him to the league back in 1996.
“The second preseason game of my career,” Ray Allen recalled. “October 15, 1996. United Center. Michael Jordan. He said ‘welcome to the NBA’ at jump ball.”
Unfortunately, Allen no longer expounded on the context of this brief exchange, but knowing Jordan, this would have been much more than an innocent greeting. The six-time champion would have probably been playing his mind games on a highly-touted rookie who was just selected fifth overall in a talent-packed draft class.
For Allen, this surely would have been an unforgettable moment as a youngster, and as it turns out, this has stuck with him years into his own retirement. Allen is one of the lucky ones who were able to face of against one of, if not the greatest basketball player of all time, and he is rightfully cherishing this memorable exchange to this very day.