Ray Allen vs Alex English
Watching last night's game between the Suns and Celtics got me thinking about Ray Allen. I started wondering if he was the greatest player out of the State of South Carolina. If not Allen then it has to be Alex English. It is a very difficult choice between the two because they are so similar.
First let's take a look at the stats:
Allen 1068 G/ 21752 P/ 20.4 PPG/ 4.3 RPG/ 3.6 APG
English 1193 G/ 25613 P/ 21.5 PPG/ 5.5 RPG/ 3.6 APG
Very similar. English gets the edge in rebounds per game but that is more a function of Englsih playing forward, while Allen is a guard, and the fact that teams used to shoot more in the 80's and thus there were more rebound opportunities. English may have also scored slightly more points per game because he played for the shoot em up Doug Moe Nuggets of the 80's. To be fair Ray Allen was normally the number 1 offensive option for his teams before he came to Boston so I'm guessing the offensive opportunities were probably pretty equal. Most of his time in Denver the smooth shooting English was teamed with a gritty veteran center in Dan Issel and a high scoring forward in Kiki Vandeweghe. That should sound familiar to current Celtics fans.
Ray Allen is a 9-time All-Star who has both an NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal to his name. Alex English was an 8-time All-Star who didn't win a championship but has been named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Gonna give the edge to Allen here since Ray will soon be enshrined in Springfield as well.
Both players were also involved in what turned out to be one-sided trades. English was dealt in the 1979-80 season from Indiana to Denver for aging star George McGinnis who was out of the NBA after 1982. Ray Allen and Glen Davis, the 35th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, were traded to the Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the fifth overall pick, Jeff Green. I have to wonder if just Glen Davis for Jeff Green would be a fair trade today.
Both players have also had the chance to display their acting chops. English was featured in the 1987 no-nukes Amazing Grace and Chuck, playing a fictitious Boston Celtics star (while Ray Allen is a real-life Celtics star). Ray Allen was Jesus Shuttlesworth in the 1998 Spike Lee film He Got Game. Ray Allen held his own with Denzel Washington. Big edge to Ray Allen here.
The original question was who was the best player out of South Carolina and I know that technically Allen was born in California but he went to high school in South Carolina - leading Hillcrest High School to a state championship in basketball. These two players are so even that I can't pick between them. It was good to think about Alex English for a while though - he has to be one of the most under-rated players in NBA history (Ray Allen may be on that list too).