Memphis Grizzlies to retire Tony Allen's No. 9 jersey

'The Grindfather' returns to Memphis on Friday for the first time since signing with New Orleans

NBA.com Staff

Oct 12, 2017 11:41 AM ET

Tony Allen was critical to establishing the "Grit and Grind" era in Memphis.

If you're good to the Memphis Grizzlies, they're good to you.

The team announced they will retire the No. 9 jersey of Tony Allen when he retires, the same promise they gave to Zach Randolph when he signed with Sacramento this summer.

Grizzlies owner Robert J. Pera and GM Chris Wallace praised Allen for his commitment to Memphis for the past seven seasons. From Pera:

“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.”

From Wallace:

“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.”

In 462 games over seven seasons in Memphis, Allen averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 25.1 minutes. He was named to the All-Defensive First Team three times (2012, 2013, 2015) and All-Defensive Second Team three times (2011, 2016, 2017).

Allen will return to FedEx Forum with the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams (8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass).


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