Coach: No more gambling on Grizzlies’ flights
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has banned gambling on flights for Memphis after a fight between Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo on board an airplane during a return trip from Los Angeles.
Team spokesman Dustin Krugel said Wednesday the Grizzlies will allow “no more gambling” on flights. Their next road trip begins Friday night after hosting the Utah Jazz.
The team released a statement early Wednesday morning confirming that Allen and Mayo had a “brief altercation” on the charter flight back to Memphis on Monday from Los Angeles. The Grizzlies spent the night in California after beating the Lakers 104-85 on Sunday.
General manager Chris Wallace did not immediately return a message left Wednesday by The Associated Press, but said in the statement the club considers the matter closed.
The Commercial Appeal first reported the gambling ban on team flights. Hollins told the paper that he treated the incident like a blowup during practice – with a lecture and having both players apologize. He said there will be no further discipline by the team.
“We’re in a confined airplane, and things get heated. I’m done with it. No more gambling,” Hollins told the newspaper. “I told my guys if they read a book, that would be good. They have to entertain themselves in a different manner.
The NBA has not ruled whether Allen or Mayo will face punishment from the league.
“We’re monitoring the situation,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank wrote in an e-mail to the AP.
According to reports, Mayo owed Allen money following the card game and became increasingly angry toward Allen when asked to settle the debt. The men had to be separated by teammates.
Mayo did not play Tuesday night in the Grizzlies’ 110-105 win over Oklahoma City; the Grizzlies said he had bronchitis. The No. 3 pick overall in 2008, Mayo now is coming off the bench and averaging 13.2 points per game. Allen, signed this offseason, scored a season-high 19 points in the win over the Thunder.
At least two NBA teams banned gambling on the team plane a year ago after a card game between Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton turned into an argument in the locker room the led to gun play. Arenas brought four guns into the locker room in what he said was an attempt to play a prank on Crittenton – both players are no longer with Washington.
Arenas was suspended 50 games last season for bringing a gun into the locker room, spent two days in jail and time at a halfway house for felony gun possession.