Instead of taking to the air, Marc Gasol opted for ground transportation to get to New Orleans for All-Star Weekend.
For the third time in his career, Gasol has been named an All-Star and will represent the Grizzlies in the NBA’s annual spectacle. Unlike many of his teammates, Gasol didn’t fly to New Orleans for the festivities. Instead, Gasol drove from Memphis. The Grizzlies posted the below photo to Twitter showing his route, which included stops in Pearl, Mississippi, and Slidell, Louisiana.
Not exactly the quickest way to get there, but if you’re a fan of driving there’s nothing like a road trip. If I had a Tesla, I’d probably want to drive it as often as possible too, even if I had to stop for periodic charges.
Through 55 games this season, Gasol is averaging career-highs in points (20.6) and assists (4.3) to go along with 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
The walk is now (incorrectly) being attributed to McGregor, but the truth is the Irish fighter got it from McMahon first. Still, the proliferation of said walk — regardless of attribution — is awesome.
The former Defensive Player of the Year suffered the injury on February 8 against the Portland Trail Blazers (video here), ending his 2015-16 season prematurely. He was averaging 16.6 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game, and 1.6 blocks per game before going down.
Gasol, 31, will return to a retooled Memphis team that just inked Mike Conley to a historic $153 million max extension and signed Chandler Parsons away from the Dallas Mavericks. Still, they’ll need continued production out of Gasol, who is the only 7-footer on their roster.
Much of Gasol’s value comes from agility and his footwork for a big man. Those skills allow him to defend the pick-and-roll and the rim effectively and to be a crafty scorer in the post. Now past his physical prime and coming off a major foot injury, it’s definitely worth watching to see if those attributes have been at all compromised.
It shows you the high regard the Spurs organization is held in throughout basketball. It actually does make sense, particularly if Tim Duncan calls it a career. Gasol could probably slot in pretty effortlessly and have a shot at another championship.
Pau Gasol has spent the two previous seasons with Chicago, and it seems increasingly likely that he’ll be headed for greener pastures once free agency opens.
“Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as brother and brother,” said Marc Gasol, breathing heavily through his durasteel helmet as he stood menacingly over older sibling Pau on Cloud City. OK, maybe I got the Gasol family Thanksgiving dinner confused with a scene from The Empire Strikes Back, but as it turns out, that image might not be too far from the truth.
“It’s not impossible that one day we could play together,” said the Grizzlies center as translated by HoopsHype. “I think he has two more years in Chicago and I think it’s difficult that he would leave the team, I wouldn’t like it. But for us, and for Memphis to add someone like Pau, it would be unbelievable. We will try. Why not?”
Marc just inked a new five-year, $110 million deal with Memphis over the summer. Meanwhile, Pau does indeed have two years remaining on his deal with the Bulls, but the final year is a player option which he can decline and become a free agent next offseason.
Pau, of course, played the first seven seasons of his career with the Grizzlies, becoming the team’s all-time leading scorer, before being traded to the Lakers for a pu pu platter that included a young Marc. Watching the now-35-year-old Pau play out the final years of his NBA career alongside his brother in Memphis where it all began and retiring in a Grizzlies uniform seems awfully fitting.
For what it’s worth, Marc’s current frontcourt mate Zach Randolph comes off the books after the 2016-17 season. With the beautiful big-to-big connection the brothers have fostered playing next to each other for many years in international play for their native Spain, it’s a possibility that would make a lot of sense for both feel-good purposes and basketball purposes, alike.
The list of potential suitors for soon-to-be free agent center Mark Gasol is dwindling by the day, and that probably has to do with the common belief that he will re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The New York Knicks, who were once interested in Gasol, have apparently moved on. According to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Knicks “long ago gave up any hope” of being able to sign the 30-year-old.
Gasol posted a career-high 17.4 points per game last season for a Grizzlies team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs this year (pushing the eventual champion Golden State Warriors to six games) and appears to be headed in the right direction. In all likelihood, Gasol will sign a max contract with Memphis and earn more money than he could anywhere else.
Now that they have seemingly given up on Gasol, the Knicks are turning their attention to DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reports that the Knicks are considered “long shots” to land either player, but both Jordan and Aldridge reportedly have New York in their top five.
A moment of frustration caused Marc Gasol to need a replacement jersey on Monday.
Gasol is comfortably among the more skilled big men in the NBA and, understandably, has high expectations for himself and his performance. During the first quarter of the Grizzlies’ game against the Kings, Gasol missed a jumper that you would bet on him making more often than not. Knowing he can make it with regularity led to Gasol grabbing his jersey and ripping it down the front between the “I” and “Z” Josh McRoberts-style.
We can only imagine how many practice jerseys have suffered at the hands of Marc Gasol throughout his career.
Tim Duncan is not going to play forever, which means the San Antonio Spurs need to start thinking about replacing the cornerstone of their franchise. Is Marc Gasol an option to fill that role?
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Gasol is being “targeted as a possible replacement” for Duncan if Duncan winds up retiring this summer. Isola sees the Spurs as a potential obstacle for the New York Knicks, who are also interested in signing Gasol.
While we don’t doubt that the Spurs are interested in signing Gasol, the biggest obstacles for the Knicks will be themselves and the team Gasol currently plays for, the Memphis Grizzlies. The Knicks are 3-8, are struggling to grasp Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and do not look like a playoff team at the moment. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are off to a 10-1 start and look like one of the best teams in the NBA.
The Grizzlies can offer Gasol the most money in free agency and may give him the best chance to win. Very few players would sign elsewhere under those circumstances.
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is playing for a contract this season, and he got the year off to a strong start with 32 points and nine rebounds in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Gasol, 29, is expected to be one of the top free agents on the market before the 2015-2016 season. Might the New York Knicks end up signing him?
“We’ll see what happens next year what he decides and hopefully he’ll have a strong year and all the options in the world because he’s one of the top centers, interior players in the league, so any team would be fortunate to have him,” Pau Gasol said. “It’s a personal decision. I talked to my brother enough about Phil (Jackson) that he knows what he brings to the table.”
Pau knows plenty about Jackson, who is now the head of basketball operations with the Knicks, and Derek Fisher, the team’s new head coach. He played for Jackson from 2008 to 2011 and alongside Fisher from 2008 to 2012.
Pau noted that he chose to sign with the Chicago Bulls because he felt they have a better chance to contend right away, but he also believes in what Jackson is doing in New York.
“Obviously there’s a lot of factors that come into play, but I have faith in Phil that he’ll succeed,” he said.
The Knicks should be roughly $20 million under the cap after this season, so they’ll have plenty of room to sign Marc Gasol. That said, the Grizzlies finished 50-32 last season and pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. If they continue to improve, there’s no guarantee Gasol will be leaving Memphis.