How the Grizzlies Spent Their Summer Vacations: Tony Allen

Apr 17, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) points to the other end of the court after a foul is called against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half at Target Center. The Grizzlies won 91-84. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Inspired by our own Hamed Haddadi's trip to the zoo, it's time to take a completely fictitious look at what other members of the Memphis Grizzlies will be doing during their respective summer vacations. If you have suggestions as to who should be covered next, please feel free to leave those in the comments. First up was O.J. Mayo in Nova Scotia. Next is Tony Allen.

Tony Allen always figured he had it in him. It wasn't, as far as he was concerned, a matter of talent or know-how; it was, though, a matter of time. When you're the elder proprietor of the Grit and Grind movement, you're a busy guy during the NBA season. This summer came earlier than Allen would've hoped, but with the issue of the lockout firmly in the past, Allen can breathe easy. He knows exactly when he'll be getting back to work. For now, that leaves Allen some time to focus on something he's always wanted to do, or at least something he's wanted to try for the last few months. So that's why Tony Allen is publishing short stories as eBooks.

The idea first occurred to him during a marathon 37-hour Twitter binge. As Allen was updating his wildly popular profile on the social networking site (34,678 followers at this time, yo), he thought to himself that some of his thought bursts, contained to 140 characters on Twitter, could possibly be fleshed out a little more. After briefly considering just tweeting out a short story one after the other and labeling them with a page count, Allen decided that he didn't want to be contained by the limitations that make statements such as "You wanna ring don't you" in my future voice," "He put some bar b que on it" ," or "1 more thing if u Love me Love me unconditional" thought-provoking gold; indeed, Tony Allen wanted to go a little more in-depth on this shit.

His first work, like many of his tweets, was seemingly inspired by the ongoing NBA playoffs. It was called Horace Goes West and was the story of a young grizzly cub named Horace who one day left his Midwestern forest to explore and conquer the great Western frontier. His mother didn't approve, believing that while Horace was great at defending himself -- by rolling into a ball on the ground or climbing a tree, the standard stuff for people encountering bears and bears encountering bears alike -- he was lacking in his attack skills. Horace's mother believed that, should he run into a foe out in the wild that will require him to go on the offensive, he could falter without a full arsenal of moves at his disposal. And you can really only roll into a ball so many times.

Undeterred, Horace left anyway. Not long after his departure Horace encountered a mangy captain of a Clipper ship, his red-haired, mean-staring first mate, and some guy named Reggie. Horace thought the crew seemed a little out of place in Tennessee, but the captain assured him they were on their way to Los Angeles. Their ship was nice but ultimately, and unbeknownst to Horace until he read a news carving in a tree somewhere down the road, it was wrought with leaks and eventually capsized by the stinging spurs of some Texas rangers in the San Antonio River. Horace was glad in retrospect, then, that when he asked for a ride to Los Angeles the little captain said there was no room on the vessel. Horace remembered patting the captain on the head, thanking him at least for the lessons he taught and the realization that Horace, too, had room to grow. He recalled that the captain didn't take too kindly to the head pat.

Ultimately, though, Horace was sad. It had taken seven days of deliberation and personal sacrifice in the wild (even though he never really left his home forest) for he and the mangy Clippers to haggle on a potential ride to what Horace believed was the second round of his life. And in the end, they left without him anyway. Horace was disappointed that he wasn't able to go and see the San Antonio River again -- it was a place he had been to a year prior and enjoyed immensely -- but he vowed that, after a solid two or three months summer hibernation, he and his grizzly family would again try to venture out into the great Western beyond, where thunder could be heard booming ominously in the distance, even from Tennessee.

This was Allen's opus of the summer. It sold for $2.99 on Amazon for the Kindle and was listed as one of the "Top 100 Kindle Books for $3.99 or Less," and let's just say he made a pretty nice chunk of change from it.

In Allen's second short, entitled The Man and his Shoe, he explores the broader subject of men and what they love through a story of a guy named Ronald Spritzer that takes his new-found obsessive shoe collecting hobby to a drastic extreme when he begins to pose as a panhandler on the streets, asking people for the shoes off their feet. This is all, as the reader later learns, in a deeper effort to win back his true love who left him because he didn't understand her need to buy a new pair of stilettos once every two weeks.

The story sold for $1.99 for the Kindle version on Amazon, and is just beginning to pick up steam, as it shows up in the "related searches" category for people seeking The Old Man and the Sea, for some reason. Allen is working on a third tale as we speak; it is the comedic dealings of a man named Bharles Carkley and his wacky dating exploits in the American Southwest. It is dripping with hilarious promise.

Tony Allen feels rejuvenated and ready for the start of the NBA regular season, even though it is months away. He knows that once the grind begins, his eBook work must stop. He doesn't know if he'll ever venture into the writing world again, but if he does, Tony Allen knows he can own that shit, too.

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