Disclaimer: I am the world’s biggest Reggie Miller homer, I have watched the “Winning Time” 30 for 30 about twenty-five times, I will watch bootleg copies of classic Pacers series just to pass the time. So this is incredibly hard for me to do, bear with me.
The Debate is over.
For the last year or so people having been arguing “Who Is better, Ray or Reggie” on twitter, on podcasts, in blogs like these, on the playground, in barbershops, you get the picture. But sadly, like all great basketball debates, they have a shelf life.
Ray Allen is poised to take over Reggie Miller’s all time “Three Point Field Goals Made” record tonight, against the Lakers, and on National Television. And seeing as the game is on TNT, Reggie most likely will be in the building.
Not only has Allen took the record, we all knew he was going to do that, he looks like he will shatter it, and add to a resume that is quickly becoming more impressive than Miller’s. Allen now has….
- More Career Three Pointers than Miller, and with fewer attempts and seasons played; Miller’s 18 to Allen’s 15
- The elusive ring that Miller came close to, but never got
- One more Finals appearance than Miller
- The NBA Finals Three Point Field Goals record against the Lakers last year
So with three years left, Ray Allen will likely own Miller in the stats category, and as Jay-Z once said; “Men, lie, Women lie, Number’s don’t” but basketball is a tad different and people who argue with Miller point this out quite often (I am one of them)
- Reggie pulled off the “Eight Points, Nine Seconds” Game
- Reggie was the star of the two greatest playoff series of all time
- Reggie was more “clutch” than Ray Allen
- Reggie almost beat the 98 Bulls
- Reggie almost took the Lakers to Seven in his Finals appearance
- Ray Allen couldn’t do it by himself.
When you look at that it is easy to romanticize over Miller and point out that Allen has, and never will, produce those kind of special, classic moments that Miller provided. And Allen will likely never be the star of a team, but he doesn’t have to be, and he did pretty damn well when he was.
Allen took JEROME JAMES to the second round with the Super Sonics, and he also went to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Bucks. Sure, Miller will always be remembered for what he did against the Knicks, but Allen isn’t exactly Tracy McGrady.
So where does that leave us? Well, Reggie Miller is one of the legends of the nineties, and his glory may always overshadow Allen’s, but he is not the better player. Miller had the advantage of playing during the NBA’s peak, before the lockout, the MJ era, Allen’s heyday was during one of the NBA’s dark periods and was spent on non-contenders in small markets, before he went to Boston.
And once he went to Boston he left no doubt that he wasn’t an elite player, he has found his role with the Celtics. He will never average a crazy number in terms of points per game, that time has came and gone, but he is big in the clutch and is counted on to hit those dagger threes he is becoming synonymous with.
Miller will always be one of my favorite players, and if I can admit that he is clearly going to wind up being behind Allen in the list of all-time greats, what does this say about the future of this debate?
We will find something else to argue about, but Allen is cementing his legend and it is a joy to watch.