Marc Gasol is now an NBA champion. The Toronto Raptors big man was traded mid-season last year by the Memphis Grizzlies as Tennessee’s basketball franchise decided to tear things down. It definitely worked out for him.
But originally, Gasol didn’t want to leave the only NBA home he’d ever known. According to Gasol, he did not want organization not to trade him.
Now? Gasol is glad they didn’t listen to him.
“There have been few players that haven’t been traded over the years in the NBA. If it had been depended on me, I wouldn’t have been traded. I always thought I could reverse the situation there [in Memphis] and bring the team to the top. But, thank God, they ignored me.”
There’s something about winning a championship that sets guys apart after they retire. For the true greats — Charles Barkely, John Stockton — it doesn’t seem to matter. But when you’re not in the list of the Top 75 best players of all-time, then grabbing one as an important player the way Gasol did is vital.
No doubt it was hard for him to leave Memphis. Gasol attended high school in the city before leaving to the ACB league. But Toronto was the exact right situation for him, and now he’ll always have the ring (and we’ll always have videos of him during the parade).