Miami Heat Players Give Ray Allen New Nickname of 'The Committee'

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2014

MIAMI, FL - May 24: Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat before the game against the Indiana Pacers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA playoffs at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on May 24, 2014. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2014 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

Ray Allen holds some serious clout within the Miami Heat locker room, along with one of those "Ah, I see what you did there" nicknames.

Meet "The Committee."

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports offers additional context, writing that the "younger Heat players also look to Allen for advice and have nicknamed him, 'The Committee.' When the Heat need a debate decided, they often turn to 'The Committee' of one in Allen."

Do you see what the Heat did there? Do you? 

Naturally, you're wondering which "younger" Heat players are responsible for such a clever epithet. 

The answer: All of them.

There isn't one player on the Heat older than Allen. At 38, he's the team's residential grandpa. Coach Erik Spoelstra, 43, is closer in age than teammates LeBron James (29), Chris Bosh (30) and Dwyane Wade (32), among many others. So of course the younger, sprier Heatles are going to poke fun at Allen's age by suggesting he's been around long enough to know everything and anything.

Mostly, though, it's a sign of respect, an admission that less than two years into his Miami tenure, the Heat need Allen.

"They make fun of me and say sly little things about my age like I played with Moses Malone," he tells Spears. "It's funny. But they all respect me and ask me questions...If there is anything that needs to be resolved they say, 'Committee, what's your take on this?'"

INDIANAPOLIS, IND - MAY 20: Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat warms up before Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER
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Come next season—assuming the heart of Miami's roster remains intact and isn't broken up by Wade's rickety knees, Bosh's potential desire to re-experience life as a No. 1 option and the totally unlikely event of James returning to Cleveland—the Heat may want to make theirs a committee of two or more.

Eighteen years deep into his NBA career, retirement is an option for Allen. If he wins his second consecutive title and third overall, there's a possibility he seizes the opportunity to end his illustrious career on his own terms.

"Do I want to get to the point where you tell me, 'Look man, you ain't looking good out there'?" Allen said. "Do you want to get to that point and people start saying that about you?"

No one wants to reach that point. If they do, they don't care about legacy. And Allen cares about legacy.

Yet it's difficult to see Allen walking away soon, when he seemingly still has so much basketball left in him. There continue to be moments—clutch moments—that remind everyone he remains the greatest shooter ever.

Take Miami's Game 3 Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Indiana Pacers Saturday night. Allen drilled four deep balls and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, sealing the Heat's come-from-behind win.

Even now, with nearly two decades of wear and tear on that long, lanky body of his, Allen keeps himself in tip-top shape, maintaining the kind of physical upkeep that's difficult for 20-somethings, let alone players approaching 40.

"In his 18th year, we are running out of superlatives to describe Allen," Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated writes. "He is the NBA's preeminent clutch shooter who, in the twilight of his career, remains nearly as effective as ever. He spaces the floor flawlessly, runs his defender ragged and has the complete trust of his most prominent teammates."

"Committee" can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, at which point he has a decision to make: Does he retire knowing he can still play in the NBA, or does he return to grace the hardwood with his quick release and sweet shooting for at least one more year?

"At this point, I love how my body feels," Allen told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel in February (via Bleacher Report). "It's 18 years for me. I love what I've done and how I've continued to feel."

These Heat can only hope their committee of one is singing that same, "My Body Feels Magnificent, Let's Try This One More Time,"  song in July.