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Grizzlies plan to retire Allen's number

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The Memphis Grizzlies announced plans to retire the number of Tony Allen in the future, the team said on Thursday.

Allen departed the team this summer and signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for the veteran's minimum of $2.3 million.

"Tony was a driving force behind the Grizzlies' seven straight playoff appearances and he remains a beloved member of the Memphis community," Grizzlies owner Robert J. Pera said in a statement. "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 Randolph's) one day."

Randolph, who signed with the Sacramento Kings in the offseason, joined Allen, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as part of Memphis' Core Four.

Allen averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his seven seasons with the Grizzlies. He also earned first- or second-team All-Defensive honors in six of those campaigns.

"Tony will forever be one of the Core Four responsible for the turnaround in the Memphis Grizzlies' fortunes and our surge in popularity," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in the statement. "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."

Updated October 12, 2017

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