Number 9 will never be worn again by anyone in the future of the Memphis Grizzlies. The team announced on Thursday that it would be retiring the jersey of former Grizzlies guard and defensive stalwart Tony Allen.
Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said this:
Tony will forever be one of the Core Four responsible for the turnaround in the Memphis Grizzlies’ fortunes and our surge in popularity. There would never have been seven straight years of playoff appearances, the incredible electricity in FedExForum for home games, ‘Grit and Grind’ and ‘Believe Memphis’ without Tony Allen’s contributions to the team.
In the process Tony became more than just one of the toughest defenders in the league—he became a true cult hero who was intertwined with the soul of Memphis like few athletes ever have in any city. Tony and his family will be missed but his impact on the Grizzlies and Memphis will never be forgotten.
Indeed, Allen was perhaps the driving force behind the Grizzlies’ “Grit and Grind” era, as he teamed up with Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol to form one of the hardest-working and most fearless units in NBA history.
In his career, Allen racked up three NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and three NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors while finishing in the top 10 for steals per game in three different seasons.
In addition to his on-court prowess, Allen was and is a good man. Known for his hilarious tweets, charity work, and knack for staying out of trouble, he will now forever remain beloved in the Memphis Grizzlies fan base.
Allen is currently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
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- New Orleans Pelicans
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Boston Celtics
- Portland Trail Blazers