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Ray Allen says he ‘wanted to be like [Michael Jordan] growing up’

Ray Allen, Michael Jordan

Widely regarded as one the best, if not the best, shooters of all-time, newly-inducted Hall of Famer Ray Allen was actually quite the high flyer during his younger years. This is why it comes as no surprise that during his acceptance speech, he credited the great Michael Jordan as being one of the biggest influences in his life.

In his early 20’s, Allen was known for his high-flying dunks as a player for the Milwaukee Bucks. In fact, Allen was a participant in the 1997 slam dunk contest.

In his speech, Allen cited a very particular Michael Jordan play that Allen described as if he had just seen it transpire moments ago. According to Allen, this inspired him to work as hard as he could so that someday, he could maybe emulate His Airness.

“I have to be able to do that,” Allen stated. “That has to be someday.”

Allen continued by making it abundantly clear that as a child, he absolutely looked up to Jordan and tried to pattern his game to that of the Chicago Bulls legend.

“So wherever Mike is, I want to tell you that I wanted to be like Mike growing up,” concluded Allen.

Jordan is considered by many as the greatest player of all time. Given this, it is not uncommon to have other NBA players — especially those that grew up watching Jordan play — consider them to be their idol. However, it is extra special when a Hall of Famer gives Jordan so much credit for shaping their game.

Below is the full bit of Allen describing Jordan’s impact on his career care of NBA TV.