Allen played for the Grizzlies for seven seasons before signing with the Pelicans in September. 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.
You can check out Tony Allen's reaction to the Grizzlies' jersey retirement announcement below.
"I laid my mark down, considered (Memphis) home". "I've got a lot of friends and family in the city". Obviously, it's a dream come true to have your number retired in the National Basketball Association.
The Grizzlies announced plans to retire the No. 9 jersey that Allen wore while with the organization, which is the same promise they gave to Zach Randolph when he signed with Sacramento this summer. He also established himself as one of the NBA's most tenacious defenders, earning first- or second-team All-Defensive honors in six of those seasons.
"I wasn't doing that for notoriety". I never was trying to be in your paper, your latest magazine. "I was doing it just playing hard, playing the right way, trying to win".
"I never cared about the fantasy-ness and the All-Star games".
"And I just thank Memphis for allowing me the opportunity to be able to play".
Allen is returning to Memphis for a preseason game as a member of the Pelicans, and he will probably play very tough defense during that game, as he does literally every game with unconscionably incredible effort. 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.
The Pelicans will be back in Memphis once again on October 18 to play against the Grizzlies in the regular season opener.
It's still unclear if Allen will be back in time for the opener, but Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says having him on the team has already had a positive impact on the team.