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Ray Allen says after retirement “I was never close to coming back”

The Houston Rockets reportedly made a pitch. Milwaukee did as well, so did Cleveland with LeBron James. Miami didn’t really want him to go.

When Ray Allen decided to retire five years ago, he had options beyond getting in 18 holes every day. Some teams were interested. Now, as he prepares to enter the Hall of Fame this weekend, Allen told Shams Charania of The Athletic no team was interesting enough, or put together enough of an offer, to entice him to get back on the court.

I was never close to coming back, man. Nobody presented anything tangible to make me question and say, “You know what: I like this opportunity, it’s sound, it makes sense. Let’s look at this.” Nobody did that. So I stayed retired. As much as I put in to being prepared, it’s tougher as an older player to stay ready because you get tight quicker. So I was curious what teams that wanted my services, if they were actually going to use me.

Some teams were discussing having me at the end of the bench mentoring our younger players. I don’t think I wanted to come back like that. I wanted to play to help if I came back.

Allen is a fierce competitor, he was not willing to accept a mentor role, and you can’t blame him. However, at that point in his career his efficiency and parts of his game — not his three-point shooting too much, but what goes around it — were starting to slide. The roles teams would offer were going to shrink from what he wanted.

He still enters the Hall of Fame as one of the best pure shooters the game has ever seen and the NBA’s all-time leader in three-pointers. He’s also a two-time NBA champion, two-time All-NBA player, and a 10-time All-Star.