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Despite Tremendous Success, Ray Allen Continues To Fear Failure

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Ray Allen has made more 3-pointers than any NBA player ever, won a championship with the Boston Celtics and has made the All-Star Game 10 times. He’s still motivated by failure and fears that he may not be good enough. It’s enough to keep him playing at a solid level in the NBA and that’s got to be a welcome addition for the Miami Heat, who added him to their Big Three this offseason. Ray Allen joined 790 The Ticket in Miami with The Dan LeBatard Show to discuss his workout routing, being motivated by fear, feeling old, how he was courted to join the Miami Heat and his first reaction when he saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh celebrating on stage following their coming together in Miami.

Are you obsessive compulsive, clinically diagnosed, about work?:

“Maybe not clinically diagnosed. I might have to go see a doctor, but I am obsessive about it. I was just telling somebody earlier about how I can wake up in the morning and I can be sitting there laying in bed and I can twitch because in my dream, I missed a shot, last-second shot. … Every day, that’s kind of how I feel. When you go out there, you’re like, ‘I’ve got to get my shots up. I’ve got to feel good about myself, my body.’ … I just don’t feel good enough, and in order to feel better, I’ve got to put that work in.”

Are you still motivated by fear?:

“Yeah, because I think if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t play anymore. The fact of being afraid of failing, not being good enough, you’re afraid, you step on the floor, you have butterflies. You’re like, ‘Am I going to make a shot today?’”

When are you just going to accept that you’re really good at basketball?:

“When I’m sitting at home and I’m in a rocking chair and my kids have kids. That’s when I’m like, ‘I was actually pretty good.’”

Give me a time where you have felt old:

“If I had a watch on, I would tell you many times last year. Many times, just the conversations that you have. I think the league, and I’ve been in it, it’s my 17th year. … There’s a lot of immaturity, but there was immaturity when I first came into the NBA. Guys are guys. You’ve got a locker room and you’re having a good time and guys are talking about certain things, but I think when it comes down to playing the game and practicing the game and being professional about the game, that’s when you can’t compromise the level of professionalism.”

When you had dinner with Pat Riley, did you know you’d be coming to Miami or did something convince you?:

“I was actually thinking that, ‘I don’t know what the chances of me coming here are.’ … After the dinner, there was a kid that walked up, and he took a picture with Zo and myself and there was a girl with him. They had just got done working out. The girl had a Boston Celtic jersey on and the guy had UConn Huskie shorts on. I was like, ‘Hey, this is like set up. What is this?’ … While we’re at dinner, he didn’t sell it, he was just himself. You can tell he coached Magic Johnson, Kareem, Worthy. I grew up watching those guys, some of the best of all-time. So you just listen to his stories, listen to his wisdom, and he’s a guy that you do your job, you be professional, be accountable. … I’m talking to somebody who is an intellect like myself, and you start talking about basketball and how you see it.”

On the discussion about basketball:

“They’re like, ‘Hey, we want to have fun playing basketball. We’re not a team that’s going to be stuck in mud, where you’re trying to figure out who’s the 5-man, who’s the 2-man, who’s the 1-man? You guys are all players.’ I’ve always said that about basketball. If you’ve got five guys that understand the game, it doesn’t matter what position you’re in. … I think we’ve gotten to the point in this league where, ‘This guy’s a rebounder; he’s the only one who can rebound. This guy is the post-up guy. This guy’s the point guard.’”

What were you feeling when you saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh walk out during the celebration of their coming together?:

“What are they doing? It was great that they came together, but the championship has to be won in June. You don’t win a championship in April. You don’t win it in October, you win it in June. They were excited and, for us, that was like locker room bulletin-board material. … It didn’t make me mad. We just knew that they had to come through us and we were going to do whatever we could to make it miserable on them. … You never count your chickens before they hatch. You just make sure you stay humble.”

Robert Griffin III: “Whoever drafts me I am proud to be a part of that team and can’t wait to get to work for them.”

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