In two weeks, the Memphis Grizzlies will retire the first jersey number in franchise history when Zach Randolph’s No. 50 goes into the rafters when Memphis plays host to the Houston Rockets on December 11. Joining Randolph will eventually be Tony Allen, who was set to have his No. 9 retired in late January in a game against the Jazz, but that ceremony has been postponed.
Allen announced the postponement in a video through the Grizzlies on Wednesday, saying he asked the team to push it back to next season due to the ongoing case against him for allegedly defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan.
A message from The Grindfather: pic.twitter.com/PV6jDemzJf
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) November 24, 2021
Allen is one of 18 former players who was arrested back in October for taking part in an alleged scheme to file false claims for medical and dental expenses, with Terrence Williams as the apparent ringleader, taking a cut from the other players — which is eventually what led to them being found out when there was dissension about paying Williams said cut. Allen pleaded not guilty to charges and was released on $500,000 bond, and per the indictment had paid back all but $70,000 of the $420,075 he had allegedly filed in fraudulent claims.
All told, it is probably best for Allen and the Grizzlies to put off his jersey retirement until the case is put behind him so the celebration can go on without it lingering over the proceedings.