Mayo reportedly refused to pay a gambling debt of $1,000-1,500 to Allen and taunted the veteran. According to reports, the argument then got physical, with Allen beating Mayo in the face badly enough that Mayo missed Tuesday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The team announced that Mayo had bronchitis, and he did not sit behind the bench in Memphis' Tuesday win. News about the fight broke just after the game. Reports suggested that had Mayo showed up to FedEx Forum, it would have been obvious he'd been punched in the face.
Tillery reports that the Grizzlies filed incident reports with NBA security and FAA officials. Memphis players are no longer allowed to gamble in team hotel rooms, in addition to the flight ban. Hollins suggested literature as a time-killer.
"We're in a confined airplane and things get heated. I'm done with it. No more gambling," Hollins said. "I told my guys if they read a book, that would be good. They have to entertain themselves in a different manner."
Mayo, the No. 3 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, has come off the bench for the Grizzlies this season. He is averaging a career-low 29.3 minutes per game.
Mayo sat out the Grizzlies' Tuesday night game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with what the team termed bronchitis. Parrish reported that the fight with Allen had left Mayo's face noticeably swollen. Allen started Tuesday's game, and played 32 minutes.
Wojnarowski reported that the fight stemmed from a gambling debt. Mayo apparently got into Allen's face when asked to settle a debt, and Allen allegedly decked Mayo. According to accounts, Mayo wasn't at the arena for Memphis' game.
The story is somewhat similar to 2009-10's Gilbert Arenas-Javaris Crittenton scandal. Crittenton and Arenas, then Washington Wizards' teammates, had a gambling dispute that carried over to the lockerroom, where guns were brought into the equation. The incident resulted in long suspensions from both Crittenton and Arenas. According to Woj, Allen and Mayo had been playing a game called Boo-Ray, the same game that got Crittenton and Arenas into trouble.
Mayo was the No. 3 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The Grizzlies acquired Mayo in a draft night trade that sent No. 5 pick Kevin Love to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love is on pace to become the first NBA player since Moses Malone to average 20 points and 15 rebounds a game for a season. Mayo has been turned into a sixth man this season.