I had the pleasure of connecting with Tommy Sheppard, the vice president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards, prior to their recent game against the Boston Celtics.
We arrived at the arena at 3:30 p.m. (for a 7 p.m. game) to make sure we caught all of the pre-game action.
True to legend, Ray Allen was the first player to take the court. I got a chance to speak with Ray for a minute. What an amazing guy--no ego whatsoever.
Ray's pre-game shooting routine for the day consisted of making five shots from five spots (corner, wing, center, other wing, other corner) from five different distances (close, two steps back, mid-range, college 3-point line, and pro 3-point line), with five free throws in between each set.
For those of you keeping score at home, that's 150 makes ... in about 20-30 minutes (I didn't actually time it). Even though he was spot shooting, there was nothing casual about it. He was low, had his hands up, and was "shot ready" for every pass and he shot every shot at game speed.
To me, the most impressive part is the fact that Ray has been going through a similar pre-game routine for the past 15 seasons! That is a true commitment to excellence. Ray Allen is not an All-Star and one of the game's all-time best shooters by accident. He has earned it.