The possibility of losing Tony Allen should not "threaten" the Grizzlies or their fans

Kevin C. Cox

With the free agency storm in full swirl, our beloved Grindfather is looking to be a hot item for teams around the league.

And that's okay. That's what happens when you make NBA All Defensive First Team and are regarded as the best perimeter defender in the world. That's also what happens when you make a significant playoff impact in front of millions of people. And it's going to be okay.

Let me be clear: I want Tony Allen back 100%, and I'd probably overpay to keep him. I also haven't been asked to run an NBA franchise for, what would start with, those reasons. Levien has shown us that no one, single person comprises this team, and that his Golden Plan features an air of IDGAF when it comes to people's feelings. They know what is at stake here, but they also have a ironclad will when it comes to "staying the course." Their pitch to TA will have every angle covered, and will most likely be fortified with every contingency imaginable, but it feels like Griz fans are still letting their nerves get the best of them. Not hard to see why:

The trend I'm seeing when it comes to discussing our situation with Tony is centered around words like "threat" and "danger", i.e., the Grizzlies being in "danger" of other teams "threatening" to steal Tony. The truth of the matter is that there is the possibility of some team opening up their wallets and dumping $7-$8 million a year on TA, albeit a extreme possibility. Tony loves Memphis, but people innately love security and, well ... money.

Just thinking about Tony leaving Memphis tears my heart out of my chest and and tosses it into the ascent of a rusted, jagged escalator, but this is why we have owners and CEO's and Presidents, all of whom are PAID to SUBJECTIVELY run this team as best as they can possibly run it. They bruised my emotions with a bit of the Speights/Ellington/Selby "Fire Sale," bashed my feelings even more with a Rudy Gay US Customs form, and then dangled me in the air for a couple of weeks before cutting ties with Lionel Hollins. What happened respectively?

  • we got better as a team and made it financially possible to even make a pitch to Tony
  • had the most successful season in franchise history
  • got me so pumped with a new coaching hire that I actually had to pause for a second to remember how to spell "Lionel."

I'd wager that 99% of Grizzlies fans want Tony Allen back for a few more years. Our Front Office knows this, and they know how important he is to the culture of Memphis and the Grizzlies. But they see a bigger picture than most of us are capable of seeing through our Grizznoculars. They aren't going to sabotage the momentum we have by A) not offering Tony enough, or B) offering him way too much.

Tony's impact on the city is undeniable, but Grit and Grind no longer resides only within the Grindfather. It's become what our city IS, and the Memphis Grizzlies aren't in danger of losing it - with or without Tony Allen.

But yeah.... let's get this done //lipbite

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