Marc Gasol is set to return to Europe with Spanish side Girona
After a storied NBA career, Spanish basketball legend and NBA champ Marc Gasol is set to return to Europe. He is set to sign with the Spanish side Girona. He ends his career with the Memphis Grizzlies where he is considered as one of the best players in the franchise’s history.
When Gasol was drafted, he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers but was promptly traded to the Grizzlies in a deal that also involved his brother, Pau moving to LA. Pau would end up a key cog in the Lakers’ two titles in 2009 and 2010 while Marc became the young star big man in the Grizzlies squad.
Alongside Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph, Marc led the ‘Grit and Grind’ Grizzlies squad that became known for their focus on scrappy defence. While they did not win anything noteworthy, those Grizzlies have remained the standard for tough defence in the modern NBA. Marc was the anchor as evidenced by his Defensive Player of the Year award.
Marc won his NBA title in 2019 when he was the starting center for the Toronto Raptors. He was traded from Memphis to the Raps for Jonas Valanciunas in what was seen as a fair trade since both big men were better fits in the team they landed in. Gasol was the piece that the Raps needed en route to the title because he was the perfect complimentary piece to Serge Ibaka.
He and Ibaka formed a solid partnership that was the key factor to their success. It also helped that they already had a prior relationship since they both played for Spain over the years.
Now that Marc has stepped away from the NBA, he will be remembered as one of the best defensive big men in the league’s modern era. It also helps that he was one of the best big men shooters which was key to his later success even when he got older.
Marc will play for the club he actually founded Bàsquet Girona back in 2014. This is the perfect landing spot for him since he can retire from basketball on his own terms without issues.
Words: Cholo Martin