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Memphis Grizzlies to retire Tony Allen’s number

Tony Allen
Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press

Tony Allen will soon join his former Memphis Grizzlies brother Zach Randolph in the rafters of the FedEx Forum. The organization announced they will retire the Oklahoma State product’s iconic No. 9 someday, though they didn’t make a formal announcement as of when it will take place.

Allen and Randolph were the godfathers of the Grit-N-Grind culture throughout the years, as much as Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer were the two henchmen leading the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons of the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The 6-foot-4 Allen was already showing signs of being an elite defender at his position after coming up in the league with the Boston Celtics, but upon landing with the Grizzlies, he earned All-Defensive Team mentions in six of his seven seasons with the franchise, solidifying his place among some of the best defenders in the league.

The 35-year-old defensive ace signed with the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason after the Grizzlies made a clear attempt to grow through their youth, letting veterans like Vince Carter, Randolph, and him walk this summer.

Allen is currently sporting No. 24 in the Big Easy after averaging 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and a team-leading 1.62 steals in 27.0 minutes per game last season.