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Tony Allen Reacts After Learning Memphis Intends to Retire His Jersey



The Memphis Grizzlies announced earlier this week that the organization intends to retire the jersey of former OSU standout Tony Allen, the heart and soul of the Grit-‘N’-Grind Memphis Grizzlies over the last seven seasons.

Allen’s tenure in Memphis came to an end this offseason after the team took a different direction, but the mutual respect is obvious — and he reacted emotionally to the news that the Grizzlies planned to draw up his No. 9 banner into the rafters.

No, I’m not crying, man. It’s just super dusty! Allergy season!

Here’s more on Allen from from The Times-Picayunne.

“I laid my mark down, considered (Memphis) home. The organization was A-1,” Allen said. “I’ve got a lot of friends and family in the city. It’s the ‘Grit and Grind’, the whole era, just the groundwork. Obviously, it’s a dream come true to have your number retired in the NBA.

“I just want to thank everybody who was a part of the movement. I appreciate it.”

“I never really was doing that for noteriety,” Allen said. “I never was trying to be in your paper or your latest magazine. I was doing it just playing hard, playing the right way–trying to win. I never cared about the fanciness or All-Star games. All I wanted to just be known for was being one of the greatest defenders that ever played the game. I just thank Memphis for allowing me that opportunity to be able to play.” []

This is a well-deserved honor by the Grindfather. During his Grizzlies career, he put up a modest 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. But he made his mark on the defensive end of the floor (first-team all defense!) and evolved into the identity of the Memphis franchise. It’s nice to see he’ll earn a high honor he’s rightfully earned.

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