Now an National Basketball Association veteran, the Asian-American first made headlines when he burst onto the scene in 2011-12 with the New York Knicks, inspiring a global craze known as 'Linsanity.' The craze was so significant that when he hit a game-winning shot against the Raptors in 2012, it drew a huge cheer - in Toronto.
The person spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the National Basketball Association has not held the trade call.
A few days before the trade deadline, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported that the Raptors had offered the Grizzlies Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas in exchange for Gasol and Mike Conley. It's exciting. You feel happy.
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Go out and compete every night and leave it on the floor, and whatever happens, happens. "I didn't know it was that close". "Best competitor I've played with".
Gasol's blue-collar work ethic made him one of the Grizzlies' most popular players.
Which is probably why Gasol deftly deflected any queries about his role as a Raptor and whether starting or coming off the bench is a major concern.
"They told me all great things about the organization and the city, so I couldn't be more excited about it", Gasol said. Marc attended tiny Memphis private high school Lausanne Collegiate School. Marc was drafted 48th overall by the Lakers in the 2007 draft, then traded to Memphis as part of a deal that sent brother Paul to L.A.
After years of being the biggest star in Memphis, his debut with Toronto was the first time he watched the opening tip of an National Basketball Association game while healthy from the sidelines since December 26, 2008. Gasol was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. "You're older. You're more mature", he said.