Sophomore draws comparison to Grizzlies great

Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Williams Jr. (5) and Dallas
Dec 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Williams Jr. (5) and Dallas / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies are a franchise known for putting forth nitty-gritty effort on both ends of the floor and have a long list of tough-nosed players who have donned the navy, blue, and gold threads throughout their 29-year existence.

Despite their lackluster 5-14 record to start 2023-24, this rotational trend seems to still be alive and well, as coach Taylor Jenkins has several individuals in tow who, when given on-court opportunities, represent Grind City to its fullest extent.

Recently, the folks at the Locked on Grizzlies podcast shelled out quite a lofty compliment regarding one particular player's on-court efforts, with co-host Damichael Cole going as far as to compare sophomore guard Vince Williams Jr.'s on-court tenacity to Grizzlies legend, Tony Allen.

Vince Williams Jr. draws lofty comparison to Grizzlies great Tony Allen

"He gives me some first-team vibes now. It's not the on-ball defense as much as it is his tenacity as a rebounder. Tony Allen, we saw it. He was so ferocious as a wing rebounder where you felt if he was battling Tim Duncan it was a fifty-fifty ball. That's the vibes that I kind of get from Vince Williams."

Damichael Cole on Vince Williams Jr.

While Cole would stress that Williams more so compares to the likes of Allen in the boards department rather than on the defensive end -- an unsurprising notion considering the legendary Kobe Bryant once anointed him the best individual defender he ever went up against --, it must be acknowledged that this is not the first time the two have been linked comparatively, with Grind City Media's Michael Wallace even going on record to draw similarities between them for their lengthy frames and overall efforts on the less glamorous side of the ball.

Regardless of what facet of the game, being mentioned in the same breathe as such a beloved Grizzlies legend is certainly a major compliment for the 23-year-old, especially when considering he's currently attached to a mere two-way contract.

Though undoubtably a smaller sample size, the 6-foot-4 Williams boasts a higher rebounding percentage than Allen, registering in at 10.9 with the latter holding a 9.4 percentage (9.8 for his career in Memphis).

Seeing 11 games of action, the second-year wing is posting averages of 4.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and just over half a block thus far into the season and, since receiving a larger role at the start of December, is averaging 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and a block on 64.3 percent shooting from the floor and 44.4 percent shooting from distance