Olympic Diaries (2000): Ray Allen Recounts His Most Memorable Jordan Moments

Nice Kicks: The Air Jordan 13 is somewhat synonymous with your name – or Jesus Shuttlesworth’s, rather. You and everybody on the He Got Game filming set were probably some of the first people to see that shoe outside of the designers. What was your initial reaction to that particular Air Jordan?

Ray Allen: I said to myself, ‘Denzel is the man’ because he had the shoes before they came out. They didn’t release until months after our filming. When he opened up the box and pulled them out, I was like, ‘Man, those shoes are really clean.’ I just thought Denzel was the man with the shoes. He had them before I had them. I don’t think he really wears shoes like that. He basically came to the set as a basketball-playing father with the shoes, and he played the role to a tee.

Denzel Washington receiving his Air Jordan 13s in the He Got Game film

Nice Kicks: What was the defining moment that made you accept the role to be in the movie?

Ray Allen: I said to myself if this role comes out and somebody does this over me, I’ll be pissed off for the rest of my life that I didn’t do it. My story would have been, ‘Hey, I was supposed to do that movie,’ and I didn’t want to tell that story. I wanted to be the one in it, and I wanted people to say, ‘Hey, that’s the guy that played in He Got Game.’ So, I just decided to put the work in and learn the role.

Nice Kicks: The Air Jordan 13 PE you wore when you broke the three-point record is another color of MJ’s 13th signature shoe that people love. Were those a surprise from Jordan Brand, or did you have a say in selecting the color scheme and model?

Ray Allen: They sent me a couple of things, and we just decided, as a team, what I was going to wear for that game. It ended up being those Air Jordan 13s. Like I said earlier, the Air Jordan 13 was an important shoe to me because it was my first pair of Jordans. For that game, I just wanted something that I felt comfortable playing in.

Ray Allen Breaks Three-Point Record in his “Clover Green” Air Jordan 13 PE

Nice Kicks: There is a prominent photo floating around of you warming up in the “Bin 23” Air Jordan 9 on your left foot and your Air Jordan 11 “Championship” PE on the right foot before that same game. We’d like to know what you were thinking when you did that.

Ray Allen: Oh, I remember that. I did that because I was trying to decide which shoe I was going to wear for that game, but I ended up wearing that 13. It was ironic because I had a 9 and an 11 on my feet, which add up to my jersey number 20. The sneakerheads said I was doing that to try and add up to 20, but I was really trying to decide which one would be more comfortable.

Nice Kicks: So, what’s the most comfortable pair of Jordans you’ve worn?

Ray Allen: The Jumpman T.G.I.M. without a doubt – those were the ones that I wore in the 2008 NBA Finals. Those are definitely the most comfortable shoes that I have ever played in.

Ray Allen’s footwear prior to him breaking the three-point record

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