Grizzlies to retire the jersey of the Grindfather

MEMPHIS – The Memphis Grizzlies announce that they will retire the jersey of the Grindfather…Tony Allen.

The announcement coming just one day before Allen makes his return to Memphis for a preseason game, as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Here are some thoughts from Owner Robert Pera and Grizz GM Chris Wallace on the former Grizzlie great.

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.”

Allen, very emotional, when learning that his jersey would be retired by the Grizzlies