ORLANDO, Florida — There was a big basketball reunion in Orlando Sunday afternoon, with the emphasis on big.
Marc Gasol, aka Big Spain, faced off against his former team, the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time since being traded in February 2019. Gasol and his defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors got the better of the Grizz by a score of 108-99.
Dillon Brooks paced the Grizzlies with 25 points, and Grayson Allen added 20 points . Memphis is trying to hold onto the 8th and final playoff slot in the Western Conference.
Gasol, who played for the Grizzlies for nearly 11 seasons, had 10 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Big Spain holds a number of all time records for the Grizzlies, including minutes played, field goals made, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, blocks and triple-doubles and is second in points — 49 behind Mike Conley.
“I got there when I was 16 years old. It was my first time out of Spain,” said Gasol, who still owns his Memphis home.
“I started high school there as a teenager and left as a father of two kids. My ties to the city and my roots go pretty deep and my love for the people there, what they mean and the franchise, it’s forever,” Gasol said.
Gasol helped Memphis make the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons including the 2013 run to the Western Conference finals.