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VOL. 132 | NO. 157 | Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Give Rudy Gay An Assist on Origin Of ‘Grit and Grind’

By Don Wade

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Did Tony Allen say too much? That’s the question after The Grindfather – yes, he retains the title even if he signs elsewhere as a free agent – answered a question about the origin of “grit and grind” in an interview with MassLive.com.

Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) hugs teammate Tony Allen after stopping a shot by the San Antonio Spurs in overtime during an NBA basketball game Jan. 11, 2013, in Memphis. The Grizzlies won in overtime, 101-98. (AP File Photo/Lance Murphey)

Allen, of course, spoke the phrase into being after an improbable Grizzlies win at Oklahoma City in which he scored 27 points with five steals and three blocks. This was back in February of 2011, when the Thunder had not just Russell Westbrook but also Kevin Durant and James Harden.

The Grizzlies, however, were without Rudy Gay that night – the Grizzlies player at the time considered most able to get his own shot.

“I was so upset with Rudy for not playing,” Allen told MassLive.com. “When they gave me my interview, the first thing I said was, ‘It’s just heart. Grit and grind.’ That’s how that phrase blossomed in Memphis. I was still upset. That was really a jab at Rudy Gay.”

All these years later, most Grizzlies fans have no problem with TA saying he was taking a shot at Rudy Gay back then. After all, Gay had come to be viewed as the opposite of grit and grind, even as it became a phrase, a slogan for T-shirts and a civic movement.

Gay, who recently signed with the San Antonio Spurs, took exception to Allen’s view.

“Pot calling the kettle black,” Gay tweeted on Aug. 5.

Bleacher Report dug into the players’ games-per-season history (injuries have taken a few from both of them) and found Gay has actually averaged 68.4 games played during the 82-game regular season portion of his career while Allen has averaged 61.3 games played.

Those are facts.

But so is this: The night Tony Allen first said “grit and grind” was the beginning of an era. If it took Tony taking a job at Rudy to get there, well, so be it.

Cardinals Send Piscotty

Down to Memphis

In 2016, outfielder Stephen Piscotty hit 22 home runs and led the St. Louis Cardinals with 85 runs batted in. The Cardinals were so confident in his future they signed him to a six-year, $33.5 million contract.

But on Monday with outfielder Dexter Fowler coming off the disabled list, a struggling Piscotty was demoted to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He was hitting .232 with just six homers and 31 RBI.

John Mozeliak, the Cardinals president of baseball operations, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the combination of Piscotty’s struggles at the plate and having to cope with his mother’s fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease had him under pressure.

“There’s no doubt that was weighing on him,” Mozeliak said. “Clearly this is not the season he envisioned. Clearly, there are reasons why.”

Piscotty’s playing time had been cut and Mozeliak said he just didn’t see the point in keeping him in St. Louis in a reserve role when he could be playing every day for Memphis.

“It’s a good opportunity for him to hit the reset button,” Mozeliak said.

Bowling and Basketball to Benefit

Cameron Payne Foundation

The Chicago Bulls’ Cameron Payne, a Lausanne Collegiate School alumnus, is holding his second annual “DWUKD Celebrity Weekend,” featuring a celebrity bowling tournament and silent auction, celebrity basketball camp and Cam Jam AAU showcase.

The weekend festivities benefit The Cameron Payne Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 2015 that focuses on inspiring young men and women to achieve social and athletic success in all circumstances of life. Payne’s DWUKD (Don’t Wake Up Keep Dreaming) movement hopes to empower the next generation to keep dreaming and reach their goals.

“Memphis made me the man I am today and will forever be my home,” Payne said. “I’m blessed to be able to play basketball at the highest level so it’s important for me to give back to my hometown and share the DWUKD mindset with the youth in my community.”

The celebrity bowling tournament and silent auction is Friday, Aug. 11, and will hosted at Andy B’s Bartlett Entertainment, 6276 Stage Road. The event runs from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Participants can sign up to play as team with one celebrity bowler. Additionally, general admission tickets are available for the Cameron Payne Foundation mixer 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Team sign up and mixer tickets are available now at http://bit.ly/2uGviD9.

Payne’s celebrity basketball camp will tip off at Lausanne, 1381 W. Massey Road, on Saturday, Aug. 12, and go from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. The Bulls guard will be joined by Chicago teammates Isaiah Canaan, Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine alongside NBA players Ian Clark of the Golden State Warriors, Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz and Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers. Kids ages 10-18 are invited to learn shooting techniques, drills and game strategy from some of the NBA’s best. Camper tickets can be purchased now via http://bit.ly/2uDPpCb.

Following the camp on Sunday, Aug. 13, Payne will host the Cam Jam AAU showcase, featuring four local teams competing and a backpack and school supply giveaway to children in attendance.

For more information on The Cameron Payne Foundation and “DWUKD Celebrity Weekend” activities, visit cameronpaynedwukd.com.

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