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Grizzlies give it up for the grit of Marc Gasol

Memphis made. They don’t make them like the Gasol’s any more. And just like the power of Pau, Marc more than made his mark.

Grizz give it up for the grit of Marc Gasol
Grizz give it up for the grit of Marc Gasol

When Marc Gasol first arrived in Memphis, on paper that is, his draft rights were actually traded from the Los Angeles Lakers for his big brother Pau Gasol. Which will remain one of the greatest origin stories in association history.

The Spaniard and Olympic God would actually finish his NBA career in purple and gold, as it all goes around, before running and jogging up court with a team of his own back in his home country.

But basketball brothers Pau and Marc Gasol share a much more beautiful bond.

They now make hardwood history as the first pair of brothers in NBA legend to have their jerseys retired. Marc making his Memphis Grizzlies legacy after his Spanish sibling had his in Hollywood.

How sweet a story is that?

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Almost as sweet as it would have been to have seen the pair play together in the gritted teeth of the Grizzlies formidable front court. Just like grinding it out every four years for Spain on the world’s stage. The only team who could get close to giving the dream of Team USA nightmares. All the way until the last Olympic tourney in Tokyo, a year after the original 2020 date.

It won’t be the same without them in Paris.

Yet this is about what Marc did in the NBA…and Memphis more specifically. A part of the Grit ‘n’ Grind era alongside the likes of Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and the one and only, Tony Allen.

The post Kings, Sacramento style pretenders to the Western Conference throne. Memphis always stuck around like Elvis impersonators in Vegas. A big reason for that was due to the core being kept together and centred by their man in the middle.

A proud Pau was there among the best of Memphis, from Rudy Gay to the only other Grizzly bear to have the number on his back risen to the rafters, big Zach Randolph.

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The “Core Four” of these two front-court warriors and Allen and Conley Jr. welcomed each other with warm embraces as tears fell like the confetti should have for this close, but no championship cigar franchise.

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Seven straight playoff champagne campaigns until 2017 will set you as friends for life. Marc Gasol, who admitted to giving his teammates too much of a hard time during his years in white and navy, is THE Gasol and Grizzly. Even if his brother turned the former Vancouver franchise (have you ever seen a bear in Tennessee?) right around and put them on a whole new place on the map following his Rookie of the Year debut.

With 25,917 minutes played, 762 game started, 4,341 field goals made, 2,701 free throws, 5,952 rebounds and 1,135 blocks. Marc Gasol remains a franchise leader. Also coming in second when it comes to franchise history games played (769), points (11,684) and assists (2,639).

It’s a decoration befitting of his number 33 now joining Randolph in the rafters where one day you might see a few more banner moments reside.

It may be the high-flying Ja Morant ruling era now. But before that came true grit and a man who was always on the grind.

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That grizzly truth is no lie.

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