October 29, 2013 BY Aaron Kr. / 30
Tonight, Ray Allen is entering into his 18th NBA season with a list of accomplishments and experiences under his belt that few others can match. In addition to being a 10-time NBA All-Star and a 2000 Olympic gold medalist, Sugar Ray also reigns as the NBA’s all-time 3-point king, surpassing Reggie Miller’s record back in 2011 and still adding to his growing total in nearly every game he plays in. With that already robust career stat-sheet of personal accolades, he also managed to capture the coveted ring that eluded him for his first 11 seasons, not once, but twice, and can now add 2-time NBA Champion to his bio – the first coming back in 2008 as a member of the Boston Celtics and the second from last year’s championship campaign with the Miami Heat.
In addition to all the on-court glory, Ray Allen has also managed to cross over and endear himself to the realm of pop culture as well. Back in 1998, Allen co-starred with Denzel Washington in Spike Lee’s He Got Game, performing admirably in the role unlike many would-be athlete actors before him. Aside from showing his acting chops, the film also solidified Ray’s street cred in the sneaker world as well. Denzel’s Air Jordan XIIIs may have stolen the show, but Ray’s Jesus Shuttlesworth character was no slouch with his “Pearl” Foamposite Pros, and the Spike Lee co-sign never hurts when it comes to winning the love of the sneaker crowd.
While Ray Allen may have sported a Nike shoe in the film, it’s pretty much been all Jordans for him ever since. When Michael Jordan and his signature line branched out from Nike to become their own autonomous brand in 1997, Ray was handpicked by MJ to be one of the first Team Jordan athletes to represent him and his iconic Jumpman logo. Since then, plenty of Team Jordan faces have come and gone, but Ray Allen has been there every step of the way. Now going on his 17th year with Jordan Brand, he pretty much stands alone when it comes to Air Jordan PE bragging rights. Over that span, Allen has played for four different NBA teams, but when it came to his footwear, he’s been a member of Team Jordan through it all.
Year in and year out, Ray has been outfitted with special colorways of just about every Jordan Retro or team model you can think of. In a few rare instances like the dynamic duo of Air Jordan VIII PEs that hit House of Hoops in 2008 or the 3-point champ XIIIs in 2011,
his special editions have been released to the public in extremely scarce quantities, but for the most part Allen has had them all to himself, leaving him with a sneaker resume (and closet) unlike any other in existence. And of course, aside from just the general home/away team-based PEs that he’s received throughout the years, Jordan Brand has also been there to commemorate his personal achievements and greatest moments with next level make-ups of some revered Retro classics. Prior to the aforementioned XIIIs, Jordan Brand honored Ray’s 2008 championship with the Celtics by hooking him up with a crazy metallic gold/white/green version of the beloved Air Jordan XI for the ring ceremony held at the next season’s opener.
Now about to receive ring number two, JB has kept the tradition going, this time using a similar metallic gold/white base, but flipping the once green accents to a more Heat-friendly red. On top of the head-turning color scheme, the shoe also features some special personal details to honor the occasion. The most obvious addition is the well-known “Ray” logo embroidered into the tongues, but a closer look will reveal some very cool touches that are a bit more subtle. For starters, Allen’s number 34 replaces the standard 23 on the heels and the recognizable Jumpman branding strip on the midfoot section of the tongue has been modified from its original form to read “SUGAR RAY” and “2013 CHAMP” on the left and right shoe respectively, with the Jumpman logo swapped out for a gold ring graphic. Looking inside the shoe for the final hidden detail, the years of Ray’s NBA Championship runs (2008 and 2013) are featured on the inner tongue labels.
Unfortunately, like the 2008 Air Jordan XI Championship PE, these will not at any point be making their way to retail – yet another rare gem made for Ray and only Ray. You can see them on his feet tonight as the Miami Heat are presented with their 2012-2013 championship rings and open the new season against the visiting Chicago Bulls, but if you want a closer look, search no further as Sneaker News SELECT brings you an exclusive detailed look at Ray Allen’s Air Jordan XI “Two Rings” Championship PE. Congratulations to Ray and a huge thanks to Jordan Brand for the opportunity to share this memorable moment with all of you.