After fight on team plane, Memphis Grizzlies moving on

By Adrian Sainz

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 6 2011 2:41 p.m. MST

Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, left, blocks the shot of Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011, in Los Angeles.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Grizzlies guards Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo said Thursday there are no hard feelings after they fought on a team flight over an unpaid debt from a card game.

Allen said he and Mayo shook hands and joked around as they shot together at practice Thursday, three days after the altercation on a Monday flight back to Memphis from Los Angeles.

"Me, O.J. and the team, we pretty much had a whole practice on focusing on our offense and getting better with our defense," Allen said. "I pretty much think it's behind us. That's how we're looking at it at this point."

Mayo said the team was focusing on Friday's game against the Utah Jazz. Mayo has been suffering from bronchitis, and he missed Tuesday's 110-105 win over Oklahoma City at home.

"There definitely was an altercation between me and T.A.," Mayo said. "By the way, that's one of my good friends on this team. So, no hard feelings amongst each other."

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.

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said Wednesday the team has banned gambling on team flights.

The gambling ban includes bus rides and "anytime players are on official business with our team," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said Thursday.

Hollins had both players apologize and said the team showed it responded well to the fight by beating Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

"It's not an issue," Hollins said. "It's like spraining your ankle. You get up, you tape it, you keep playing. You have an altercation, you shake hands, it's over. You move forward."

Some players said the fight has been overblown by the media. Hollins said media interest in the fight is high because people love gossip.

"They don't want to know the news of the fight, they want to know the juice of the fight, and that's unfortunate," Hollins said. "It's why we have so many reality shows. They want to see people's dirty lives ...

"We like dirt," Hollins continued. "We read US (magazine), we read People, we watch 'E.T.' on TV. Everybody wants to know the dirt on people who have money or who are celebrities to see that 'Oh, they're just like us.'"

Mayo, the No. 3 pick overall in 2008, 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.

On Thursday, Mayo said that if there was anything he could take back, it would be "the embarrassment to yourself and to the organization."

"We can't let something this small come between me and him as friends and definitely as teammates, and definitely divide up and mess up this team," Mayo said.

"We've got a great relationship amongst everybody on the team. All love each other, all for each other, and we've just got to move forward."

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