Grizz to honor "The Grindfather."
The Memphis Grizzlies have officially announced plans to retire Tony Allen's #9 jersey. The 35-year old "Grindfather" signed a one-year $2.3 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans as a free agent this Summer after spending seven seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Allen averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his time with the Grizz, but his real contributions came as a defensive menace. He earned first- or second-team All-Defensive honors in six of his seven seasons.
Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said in a statement, per NBA.com,
“Tony was a driving force behind the Grizzlies’ seven straight playoff appearances and he remains a beloved member of the Memphis community. Tony played with a level of passion that is unrivaled. He helped establish a Grizzlies culture focused on toughness and effort, and he challenged every player that put on Beale Street Blue to match his fiery intensity.
On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank him for his incredible contributions to the Grizzlies and the unique way that he inspired the city of Memphis. We are proud that the Grindfather’s #9 jersey will hang in the rafters of FedExForum alongside Zach’s one day.”
When Zach Randolph signed with the Sacramento Kings this offseason, the Grizz also announced that his #50 jersey would never be worn again either. Both Randolph and Allen embodied the Grizzlies' ‘Grit and Grind’ mentality and will forever be remembered as part of the "Core Four," along with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, who helped turn the franchise around.
Tony Allen and the New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum in Memphis tomorrow night in their final game of the preseason. New Orleans will also open up their 2017 regular season schedule in Memphis on Wednesday, October 18th.
You can check out Tony Allen's reaction to the Grizzlies' jersey retirement announcement below.