Basketball: Ray Allen announces retirement from NBA aged 41

(THE GUARDIAN) - Ray Allen has officially announced his retirement after 18 years in the National Basketball Association.

Allen, who established himself as one of the game's foremost shooters in a record-setting career, confirmed he was leaving basketball for good via a "letter to my younger self" posted on the Players' Tribune .

"I write this to you today as a 41-year-old man who is retiring from the game," Allen wrote. "I write to you as a man who is completely at peace with himself."

Allen, a 10-time All-Star, walked away from the Miami Heat after the 2014 NBA finals, and has not played in the league since, but his name occasionally surfaced in reports linking him to a comeback.

Several championship contenders made no secret of their desire to bring Allen back, but Tuesday's announcement quashes any hope of a return.

"Basketball will take you far away from that school yard," Allen wrote in his open letter. "You will become far more than just a basketball player. You'll get to act in movies. You'll travel the world. You will become a husband, and the father of five amazing children."

Allen spent his career four teams - the Heat, Celtics, SuperSonics and Bucks. He won two NBA championships - one with Boston in 2008, the other with Miami in 2013 - and is the league's all-time leader with 2,973 career three-pointers made, 413 more than anyone else to date.

Allen held the record for three-pointers in a season for seven years - his mark of 269 standing until Steph Curry made 272 in 2012-13, a record Curry has since topped twice.

In his post, Allen praised former team-mates LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

"The men who you are going to win championships with are all going to be very different people," he wrote. "What makes them champions is the boring old habits that nobody sees. They compete to see who can be the first to get to the gym and the last to leave."

Allen is the last member of the Celtics' Big Three to announce retirement plans this year.

Garnett, 40, retired on 23 September after a 21-year NBA career. Pierce, 39, announced three days later that he would retire after playing this season with the LA Clippers.