Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has banned gambling on team flights, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, after O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen got into a fight on a charter plane Monday night.
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.
Separately, Tillery reports that Mayo was involved in a gambling-related scuffle with then-teammate Darius Miles in the 2008-09 season, when Mayo was a rookie.
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.