It has slowly start to sink in that #9 will not be gracing the court of The FedEx Forum during the 2017-2018 season. Former Memphis Grizzlies’ star Tony Allen is no longer apart of the Grit and Grind family.
When it was announced that the beloved ‘TA’ was not going to suit up in the Grind House, I was saddened, but happy for Tony and his family. He is a player that always gives his all when out on the court and he loves his fans and the city of Memphis. Tony will be gracing the court of the Forum, Friday, October 13, 2017, but he will not be in Beale Street Blue.
The Pelicans guard made the NBA All-Defensive team six times, including three first-team selections before coming to New Orleans. Kobe Bryant, the third leading scorer in league history, called Allen the best defender he’s ever faced. But every now and then, Allen meets his match.
The Memphis Grizzlies released the following statements from Grizzlies Controlling Owner Robert J. Pera and Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace.
Robert J. Pera: Controlling Owner, Memphis Grizzlies
“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.”
Chris Wallace: General Manager, Memphis Grizzlies
“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.”
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