Former Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen will reportedly serve a player development role for their G-League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle, per Meghan Triplett of Grind City Media.
Coach Taylor Jenkins just confirmed that Tony @aa000G9 Allen will have a role helping out with player development with the @MemphisHustle . Allen was seen at Hustle practice earlier this week working with Dusty Hannahs.
— Meghan Triplett (@Meghan_Triplett) January 17, 2020
Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian attempted to confirm from the Grizzlies legend himself whether his role would be full time or not. And Allen responded in the only he way he knows how.
Asked Tony Allen whether his new role as Memphis Hustle player development coach would be a full time thing. He responded in classic, cryptic style: “Whether an hour a day or 9, I do everything full time!”
— Chris Herrington (@HerringtonNBA) January 17, 2020
Allen was seen at the Hustle’s recent practice. This news just confirms why he was there.
The 38-year old is an excellent choice for the job to mentor the G-League startups as they continue on their journey towards the making an NBA roster. In some ways, perhaps members of the Hustle can relate to the long-time veteran.
Allen was never known as a high profile player in the NBA. He did, however, make his name through his hustle, defense, and toughness on the court.
This is the reason why Allen is such a fan favorite in Memphis. His hustle and defense were his calling cards in a league that often thirsted for offensive highlights. Grizzlies fans instantly gravitated toward his style of play and mostly his heart and determination on the floor. This earned him the nick name “Grind Father.”
Allen was an instrumental piece for the Grizzlies during their glory days in the earlier part of the 2010’s. He, along with eternal Memphis legends Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and Mike Conley became the core that created the Grit-and-Grind era in Memphis.
In seven seasons with Memphis, Allen averaged 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 462 games with the franchise. The numbers certainly don’t jump out the page, but Grizzlies fans know that Allen’s value is way more than what the box score suggests. And this is the reason why the Grizzlies have committed to retire his no. 9 jersey at some point in the future.