PHILADELPHIA — Ray Allen knows a thing or two about getting shots up. The NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers religiously shows up at the arena, home or road, three hours before every game for his shooting routine.
And yes, he knows why Kobe Bryant was shooting on the American Airlines Arena floor two hours after the Lakers lost to the Heat on Thursday.
“There have been plenty of nights where I felt that way,” Allen said before the Celtics took on the Sixers Friday night. “There’s nowhere I can go right now but just back on the floor to get this bad feeling out of my mind, off my body.”
Allen said he’s never gone back on the floor after a road game, but there have been plenty of times when he’ll drive to his team’s practice facility after a bad shooting night at home.
“It’s probably one of the best times, where you feel the best immediately after the game,” Allen explained. “Your body can recreate those moments. The next day is kind of hard, because your adrenaline is not pumping as much. It’s very impulsive, that feeling right after the game that you’re upset with something that you did. Going back to the hotel, where you’re staying overnight in the city, is not going to help you.”
That need to perfect their craft is why Bryant and Allen are multi-time All-Stars. And it’s why they’re still in the league 15 years after they were drafted. And Allen says that there aren’t many players in this league that would ever think about getting in shots after a game.
“I don’t even know that many guys in the league that really work on their games, work on their shot, let alone have a bad game and go back to that moment,” Allen said. “My generation, I think I’ve seen the last of those guys that work hard that aren’t superstars.
“The role players that came off the bench… Those guys worked on their game when I came into the league. You don’t see that as much.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers agrees.
“The average guys are at South Beach,” Rivers said. “Kobe’s out on the floor. That amazes me. It was really cool to see.
“For kids, I think that was awesome. I think any kid that sees that, it sends so many great messages.”
Of course, as much as he loved hearing about Bryant’s late-night shooting, Rivers would never have let a visiting player do such a thing in his own arena.
“Turn the lights out,” he responded when asked about that scenario. “No doubt about it. The lights have to go out.”