Lionel Hollins bans gambling on Grizzlies road trips

Eric Freeman

Two nights ago on the Y! Sports mothership, Adrian Wojnarowski brought you the story of Memphis Grizzlies O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen fighting on their team plane over a game of "Boo-Ray," or Bourré, a card game that has started its fair share of fights in the NBA. Legend has it that last season's Gilbert Arenas(notes)/Javaris Crittenton gun dust-up started over a game of Bourré, which obviously proves that players in the league take it -- or, more accurately, the money gambled within -- a little too seriously.

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins obviously recognizes this is a problem, because he's now banning gambling on all road trips. From Ronald Tillery in The Commercial Appeal:

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins has banned gambling on team flights following a physical altercation between O.J. Mayo(notes) and Tony Allen(notes) over an unpaid debt in a card game.

The fight happened Monday on the team's chartered plane from Los Angeles to Memphis, and Hollins said he immediately informed the team that betting would no longer be allowed.

"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." [...]

The Griz will now punish players even if they are caught gambling in their hotel rooms while on road trips, Hollins said. The no-gambling policy will be added to the team's list of rules that are punishable by fines.

Good for Hollins, who is gaining some control over his team. This is also a pretty serious rule change, since the ban will cover all road trips instead of just flights. Clearly, Hollins means business.

Then again, NBA road trips aren't quite the same as those in high school or college, where coaches and chaperones initiate bed-checks to make sure everyone is in before curfew. Professional athletes are men, even if they're young, and are perfectly capable of playing a card game in someone's room without Hollins and his assistants knowing.

So don't be surprised if you hear a story next season about Grizzlies gambling with each other. Hollins has instituted a good rule, but enforcement could be an issue.