The Memphis Grizzlies had just walked out of the Staples Center following a dominant victory of the stumbling Lakers, and the mood on the team plane was joyous. Well, it was joyous for most of the players.
Mayo reportedly was the loser in the scrap, which led to him sitting out last night’s game with what the Grizz called “bronchitis”.
The Commercial Appeal has the details:
Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo were involved in a physical altercation Monday afternoon over a gambling debt during the Grizzlies’ flight home from Los Angeles. Team officials insisted that Mayo’s absence Tuesday night for the Grizzlies’ 110-105 victory over the Oklahoma Thunder was due to bronchitis and not the fight. But the incident was described as a one-sided scrap in which Allen clearly got the best of Mayo.
Neither player was disciplined after meeting with coach Lionel Hollins once the team arrived in Memphis. According to a source, Mayo and Allen were involved in a card game that left Mayo owing Allen between $1,000 and $1,500. Mayo refused to pay and repeatedly insulted Allen.Allen then went to the restroom and returned to Mayo, who was acting more belligerent about losing. Allen then struck Mayo and the two had to be separated by teammates.
Allen and Mayo have reportedly put the incident behind them (Tony apologized to management and his teammates, and then went out and scored 19 points in a big win last night.)
HBO needs to create a show based entirely on high-stakes card games between NBA players on various team planes. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be endlessly fascinating to watch.