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Memphis Grizzlies Pay Tribute to Grit and Grind Era: Zach Randolph and Tony Allen's Jerseys to be RetiredPORTLAND, OR – Tony Allen (#9) of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates with Zach Randolph (#50) of the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter in Game Three of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center on April 25, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo : Steve Dykes/Getty Images)


History will be made this season for the Memphis Grizzlies as the team announced on Wednesday that they would retire the jerseys of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Both players were part of the “Grit and Grind” era of the ballclub, and their jerseys will be the first ones retired by the Grizzlies in their franchise history.

Randolph’s famous No. 50 jersey will be retired on December 11 in a Saturday game against the Houston Rockets, while Allen’s No. 9 jersey will be hanging from the rafters on January 28 in a Friday game against the Utah Jazz.

The Grizzlies have yet to announce full details regarding those two events, but they are now offering fans options to catch the ceremonies, the Z-Bo Weekend Pack and the Grindfather Big Game Pack.

Allen emotional after jersey retirement reveal

Allen was emotional when he heard the announcement live from Grind City Media’s Chris Vernon. The retirement ceremony will be doubly special for Allen as his former Grizzlies teammate Mike Conley will be in the building, given that the Jazz is Memphis’ opponents that night.

Allen said that the retirement ceremony is a dream come true for him and that he is really thankful for the complete honor. He took to social media to announce his retirement night, tweeting, “January 28 it’s lit! Seeing that #9 hanging up for life is my stamp that I handled my assignment!” Allen concluded his tweet by giving thanks to the city of Memphis and the Grizzlies organization.

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Allen and Randolph were integral members of the Grit and Grind era

Allen signed with Memphis as a free agent back in 2010 and, over his next seven seasons with the Grizzlies, became one of the league’s best defensive players. He coined the term Grit and Grind during an interview following Memphis’ overtime playoff win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, giving the Grizzlies an identity they have carried to this day.

On the other hand, Randolph spent eight seasons with the Grizzlies from 2009 to 2017, during which he became one of the league’s most powerful big men. Randolph made history in 2011 when he became the first player in the history of the Grizzlies franchise to earn All-NBA honors, landing a third-team selection. Z-Bo also became the second Grizzlies player to get an All-Star appearance when he secured a spot in the league’s showpiece event back in 2010.

Alongside Conley and Marc Gasol, Allen and Randolph helped the Grizzlies reach the NBA playoffs for seven straight seasons from 2011 to 2017. The foursome helped the franchise record its first playoff win, and its first playoff series win, endearing them more to the Memphis faithful.