Friday, March 11, 2011

Good Guys Finish First, Too: Ray Allen Hits Record 3

[Thursday night, 8-something:] Just watched Ray Allen hit his 2,561st three-pointer, breaking Reggie Miller's all-time record, and in a game against the Lakers in the Boston (TD) Garden, no less. "All-Time" here should be understood to mean, "in 32 years," since the three-point shot only dates to 1979 in the NBA.

Ray Allen is by all accounts a real stand-up guy, and Reggie Miller, on the scene as a TV announcer, spent the whole first recording-breaking half sending up Allen's hours of work perfecting his craft. He's at the top of his game at age 35, a real old-timer by NBA standards, so it's worth noting how he's gone about it.
The new record holder is interviewed and says that what inspired him, when he first came into the league 15 years back, was seeing how long before a game Reggie would be out there practicing. So Miller explains that he in turn got the idea from watching Larry Bird, hours before gametime…
Later in the broadcast, Miller explained that, "it was all about having the whole court free" so you could practice taking shots from all different spots on the floor. (Ah-ha! That little mental-vision jolt you get from an expert insight.) And it's always about that 10,000 hours.
These are guys who take around 1000 practice shots a day. Miller spent the entire night repeating variations on the phrase, "those long hours in the gym, working on your shot." Because as all these gentlemen have made obvious again, for whatever craft we can talk about, that's how it's done.