The Memphis Grizzlies have the second best record in the brutally difficult Western Conference at 37-13 after knocking off the East-leading Hawks on Sunday. But Marc Gasol is the only player on their squad to make the All-Star team. Grizzlies “Grindfather” Tony Allen fired a shot at Damian Lillard on Twitter by mentioning his since-deleted Instagram post lamenting Dame’s absence from the reserves before he was tagged to replace the injured Blake Griffin.
Allen referenced Dame’s letter after Jared Dudley decried on Twitter the paucity of Grizzlies on the Western Squad despite their place in the standings. Allen made it seem like Zach Randolph and Mike Conley would have made the team as a replacement, or at least been in the running, if they had reacted as publicly angry as Lillard did.
Executive Vice President of the Grizzlies and former ESPN originator of PER, John Hollinger, also spoke up about Memphis not getting their due with All-Star nominations:
The Grizzlies are 9-1 in their last 10 and 3.5 games up on the Blazers in the West. But All-Star reserve voting ended weeks ago, and Adam Silver named injury replacements based off where a player fell among the votes of NBA coaches.
Yes, Lillard publicly shamed the coaches and fans for not voting him into his second straight All-Star game, and yes he deserved to be there. We also think he realized how it came off when he posted his derisive caption to Instagram, which is why he took it down.
But Mike Conley, and — to a lesser extent, since he’s missed time with injury — Zach Randolph also deserve to be in New York. Gasol is the bulwark that makes Memphis’ defense elite, but the Grizz didn’t really find their rhythm until Randolph came back, and they wouldn’t be close to the position they’re in now without Conley’s steady hand running things in the backcourt.
Despite the discrepancy in Allen’s logic, we love that he’s sticking up for his teammates, who both continue to fly under the radar of casual fans despite their importance to a title contender.
(H/T Mike Prada at SB Nation)
Fair or foul tweet from Allen?
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