Tony Allen will return to Memphis on Friday for the Pelicans' preseason game against the Grizzlies, but it might be a little more emotional than usual. 

The Grizzlies announced plans to retire the No. 9 jersey that Allen wore while with the organization, which is the same promise they gave to Zach Randolph when he signed with Sacramento this summer. 

Allen played for the Grizzlies for seven seasons before signing with the Pelicans in September. The defensive specialist was very emotional when asked about the retirement of his No. 9 jersey and thanked Memphis for the opportunity. 

"I wasn't doing that for notoriety. I never was trying to be in your paper, your latest magazine. I was doing it just playing hard, playing the right way, trying to win," Allen said. "All I wanted to be known for is one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game. I just thank Memphis for allowing me that opportunity to be able to play."

With the announcement also came gratitude from the organization, including Grizzlies owner Robert J. Pera and GM Chris Wallace thanking Allen for his commitment to Memphis and helping build the team. 

“Tony was a driving force behind the Grizzlies’ seven straight playoff appearances and he remains a beloved member of the Memphis community," Pera said. "Tony played with a level of passion that is unrivaled. He helped establish a Grizzlies culture focused on toughness and effort, and he challenged every player that put on Beale Street Blue to match his fiery intensity."

“In the process Tony became more than just one of the toughest defenders in the league — he became a true cult hero who was intertwined with the soul of Memphis like few athletes ever have in any city. Tony and his family will be missed but his impact on the Grizzlies and Memphis will never be forgotten,” Wallace said.