After 11 seasons in Memphis, Marc Gasol had no intentions of leaving the franchise he had called his NBA home for over a decade. It was in Memphis where he forged his basketball career, and it was in Memphis where he became part of a bigger culture. It was there where he became a 3x All-Star.
In an effort to launch their rebuilding era early, the franchise traded Gasol to the Raptors against his wishes, marking the end of an era for the franchise and the 34-year-old star.
“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,” Gasol said to reporters in the Antiga Fabrica Estrella Damm in Barcelona, per the Europa Press news agency.”
As we know, Gasol became a crucial piece of the Raptors’ 2019 title run against Golden State. His two-way game and veteran leadership gave Toronto a stable presence on the inside.
And, no doubt, had Gasol stayed in Memphis, he likely would have seen the end of his career before winning a Championship. It just goes to show how quickly things can change at any given moment.