Ray Allen knows what it means to be a winner.
“First of all, as an athlete and as a competitor, you never think that it's over with,” said Allen, who was in the Catalan capital over the weekend as one of the guests of honor for the 2017 Jordan Brand Classic, the prestigious all-star game that brings together the top Under-16 players in Europe.
“If you listen to the prognosticators, the people out in the public, and you look at the people who can't or don't have an effect on the game, they will tell you that it's impossible.”
Allen, of course, who won two NBA titles and was a 10-time all-star, was referring not just to his personal experiences, but also to FC Barcelona’s recent comeback in the UEFA Champions League, now considered one of the greatest turnarounds in sports history.
“When you have a group of guys that believe, anything is possible,” he said.
In addition to fielding a few of the more philosophical queries, the former guard was also asked about FC Barcelona and their superstar player, Lionel Messi.
“I know that they're one of the best football clubs in the world,” he said. “And they have some great players on their team.”
“My kids, they've been playing soccer for six or seven years, and they always talk about Messi, and what he does and how he plays.”
So, Allen, true to his hard-working reputation, wanted to find out more about the man his children idolize.
“About three years ago, I Googled him — I YouTubed him, and I watched all of his highlights. And I went to my kids and I said, ‘This guy is awesome!’
It should come as no surprise then that Allen, who was one of the more fleet-footed players in the NBA, appreciated what he saw.
“You know — just how fast he is. His footwork, speed, and his ability to score goals is incomparable.”