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Illustration by Nathan Gelgud
Ray Allen

A Splash Family reunion

Why stop at Papa? All kinds of cousins and aunties can join the brothers

Papa Splash might come back.

Really. Honest.

I know: Ray Allen’s people say this every year. But the man possessing the wettest jumper in pro basketball history supposedly is considering a return two years after his last buttery jump shot fell through the nylon. His reps have benevolently reached out to the NBA’s poorest and neediest, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

No one knows this for sure, because no one can find Allen.

He could be in a gym in Storrs, Connecticut, where he played his college ball. He could be on a beach in Miami. Heck, he could be in Sri Lanka.

Either way, it got us thinking: If the Splash Family patriarch can dust off his 40-year-old bones and still spot up and swish from 25 feet or more, why not make this a reunion:

One team – one 82-game, 3-point contest.

“I gotta be Uncle Splash,” Dennis Scott told The Undefeated – because it just felt like a scoop.

Actually, 3-D already has some precedent in this area.

“Steph [Curry] bought into it during All-Star Weekend when I had him on 3D TV,” Scott added. “When I told him y’all breaking my records [the records that Papa Splash already broke], he told me, ‘You deserve to be Uncle Splash.’ He and Klay [Thompson] said I didn’t shoot the ball enough back in my time.’”

They’re right.

Scott attempted 3,060 3-pointers and made 1,214 in his 10-year career. This was thought to be World B. Free-greedy at the time. But Ray-Ray’s Splash progeny have already shown to be much more prolific gunners. Curry has taken almost 900 more 3s than Scott in just his first six years (he’s 1,593 for 3,950 behind the arc), and Thompson (1,060 of 2,524) has taken just 466 fewer 3-pointers in his first five seasons than Scott did in his 10 seasons.

“Man, I’m 48, now, but if I was an active player today the way this game is played now … I’m not saying I could do it every night, but I think I hit 17 in a row the other day.”

See, great shooters never grow old. They just grow callouses on the tips of those chuck-it-up fingers.

Eddie Johnson played 17 seasons, retiring at 39 years old. Dell Curry, Steph Curry’s biological Splash Daddy, played 15 seasons. He had no handle, played paltry D and his single greatest contribution to the NBA is marrying and having children. But, hey, run Dell Curry off four screens and it was all net, all day.

That’s why Curry and Thompson’s other Splash Uncles – Reggie Miller, Dan Majerle and Vernon Maxwell – should also sign minimum deals with the Warriors. Once the Splash Cousins come aboard – Jamal Crawford, Kyle Korver and Danny Green – all that’s left is Aunt Splash (Cheryl Miller), Great Uncle Splash (Dale Ellis) and, of course, Grandpa Splash (“Downtown” Freddie Brown).

Brown led the NBA in 3-pointers attempted the first season the league counted the statistic in 1979-80. He attempted 88 in 80 games, making 39. That’s like an unselfish three-game road trip for Curry and Thompson now. But think about what would have happened if Brown had the leash to shoot like that back in the day – the first 10 years of his career, his bombs from beyond were only worth two points apiece.

Brown is 67 today. “I bet he could still shoot it,” Scott said. “All of ’em can still shoot if they can walk. That’s something you never forget. Muscle memory, baby.”

That’s why Allen needs to come back. Today. That’s why a Splash Family Reunion in training camp is mandatory. Where have you gone, Papa Splash? A gunner’s league turns its greedy eyes toward you.

Mike Wise is a former senior writer and columnist at The Undefeated. Barack Obama once got to meet him.