Grizzlies to retire Marc Gasol’s No. 33

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Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen led the Grizzlies in the franchise’s great era.

But like most teams that don’t win titles, Memphis is moving on from that longstanding core.

Unlike most teams, the Grizzlies are quickly announcing their connection to the past.

They already said they’d retire numbers of Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. Now, after trading Marc Gasol to the Raptors, they’re saying his number will also get retired.

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera in a statement:

“Marc has been a dedicated teammate, star player and pillar of this team for the past 11 seasons. He plays with a heart and a passion for the game that helped carry this franchise to seven straight playoff appearances, but what Marc has done for this organization is about more than just basketball. He was a part of a core group of players that helped shape the identity of this franchise on and off the court and were embraced by the City of Memphis. On behalf of the Grizzlies organization, I would like to thank him for his blood, sweat and dedication to the Grizzlies and Memphis. The impact he has had on this team and the city will live on, and we look forward to one day welcoming him back home to Memphis where his #33 jersey will hang in the rafters of FedExForum next to Zach and Tony.”

It was a forgone conclusion Memphis would retire Gasol’s number, especially after planning to retire retire Randolph’s and Allen’s. Gasol is the greatest player in franchise history.

The only novelty is announcing it while Gasol is still active. I like it. Why wait to show that appreciation?

Eventually, Conley will likely join another team. When he does, expect the Grizzlies to quickly say his No. 11 will get retired, too.