Ray Allen, 41, announces official retirement via the Player's Tribune

Jesus Shuttlesworth is calling it a day.

Ray Allen, former Boston Celtic and key cog in the machine that won Banner 17, announced his retirement today vía the Player’s Tribune. Allen, a divisive yet still beloved player in New England, played his college ball at the University of Connecticut, becoming that (then) nascent powerhouse’s first truly great player, garnering First Team All-American and Big East Player of the Year (1996) during his stay, notable for his duels with fellow Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson.

Ray went on to play for the Milwaukee Bucks and the now-defunct (but perhaps returning?) Seattle Supersonics before being the cornerstone trade move by the Celtics that would allow for the Kevin Garnett trade, the dawn of the “Big Three” era (and, it has been argued, superteams in the modern sense), which would produce the most recent of Boston’s league-record 17 championships.

That rise to the pinnacle of New England’s sports pantheon would later be marred, though - first by the lack of off-court chemistry between several key Boston players, repeated involvement in trade talks, and the defection of Allen to the Miami Heat after being defeated by that team in the 2011-12 Eastern Conference Finals - a move not unlike that of this year’s by Kevin Durant, and about as popular among the fans of each’s respective team.

Allen, who was the league’s all-time leader for three-point shots per season until being passed by the reigning sharpshooting king Stephen Curry, is regarded by many to have the purest jump shot in the history of the game, and is a consistent mention in discussions of the top shooting guards of all time.

While Ray’s departure from Boston was crushing for many, we should keep in mind Allen extended the same courtesy shown him by management, making the move most likely to get him another ring in much the way he’d been trade bait to the same end for Danny Ainge. The bad taste of it all may never go away, even for many of us who've been fans since he stepped onto the campus at Storrs, Connecticut in what now seems like ancient history.

Perhaps it is ancient history, but Allen isn’t just part of UConn or even Celtics history - he’s part of the game’s history, and we have just witnessed another of the game’s greats hang it up in a year littered with such departures.

Respect is due, and today, given.

For every dagger, for every bucket, and most especially for Banner 17 -

Thank you, Jesus.

Allen images via Bleacher Report (top) and Sactown Royalty (bottom)
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn