Memphis Grizzlies: 3 most underrated players in franchise history

Mike Miller, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Mike Miller, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Underrated Memphis Grizzlies, Player No. 2: Tony Allen

Many fans will argue that Tony Allen, or “the Grindfather,” wasn’t underrated at all. After all, he is beloved by Memphis Grizzlies fans.

As a lockdown defender, Allen was a relatively one-dimensional player. Offensively, he was average at best, which is often the root of most disrespect headed in his direction. Allen never averaged more than 11 points per game in the NBA.

Still, his defensive presence cannot be undersold.

On the stat sheet, his defense was solid, as Allen was among the league’s best in terms of steals per game in any given season. In 2014, Allen averaged two steals per game. In his career, he made six All-NBA Defensive Teams, including three First-Team selections. Numbers and accolades, however, don’t do Allen’s defense justice.

In fact, his lack of statistical success is the reason why time will only cause Allen to become more underrated — kids who never had the privilege of watching him play will never be able to understand how impactful he was on the offensive end. He was like Draymond Green but better.

The best example I can give to you to describe how good he was lies in the fact that he’s the only NBA defender who has ever given Kevin Durant trouble. In an interview with Knuckleheads, Durant described two of the league’s toughest defenders. He stopped to clarify that Tony Allen was the toughest he’s ever faced.