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Marcus Smart Recalls First Meeting with Tony Allen, Their Bonding over Defense and Oklahoma State

Allen on Smart: “I knew it. He’s going to Oklahoma State. He’s got that dog in him.”



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Marcus Smart is taking another step in the footsteps of Tony Allen, and he recently spun a yarn about his first meeting with his predecessor for Memphis Grizzlies media and fans.

There are several similarities between the two tough-nosed guards. Both earned Big 12 Player of the Year honors at Oklahoma State. Both were drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round and quickly endeared themselves to Celtics fans by drilling down on a defense-first mentality. Each has multiple NBA All-Defensive honors to his name, with Smart earning Defensive Player of the Year.

Now both have been traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Allen earned the moniker of “The Grindfather” thanks to his staunch, resolute commitment to being the Grizzlies’ do-it-all glue guy. Smart looks to be the TG2.0, or better.

In an endearing introduction to Grizzlies fans during an official team press conference, Smart celebrated those similarities and shared an anecdote about the first time he met Allen. He was a high school recruit — already committed to OSU — attending a Top 100 camp and Allen was a counselor.

Smart shared the below story about Allen challenging recruits to lock down a player that was going off and Smart raised his hand and did just that. The reaction from Allen to Smart was priceless.

“I knew it. He’s going to Oklahoma State. He’s got that dog in him.”

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