For several seasons after Ray Allen left the NBA in 2014, he was linked with a return. While Allen received interest, he says he was never close to actually playing again.
"I was never close to coming back, man," Allen told The Athletic. "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. Don’t look at me and tell me that I could still play. We want you to play, but we want you to sit on the bench and mentor the younger guys. What was tricky was, it was all about what a team would offer me financially, because that was their commitment to me that they were going to play me in their rotation because I can help them win.
"Oh yeah, I can compete today. I’m so stubborn that I’ll run as much as I need to, to be in shape. Lift weights every single day before practice. Once I’m in it, I’m committed to it."