As time winds down to February 7thNBA trade deadline, the rumors about Marc Gasol and Mike Conley being traded are out there, and they are loud. Every time you turn on the radio or look at ESPN, you hear speculation on how one or both will be traded, and how they should be traded to help the tank.
These men have been the cornerstones of the franchise, and are icons in the community. Here’s a look back at some of the best things that the two of these athletes have done for the Memphis Grizzlies and most importantly, the city of Memphis.
Marc is in the midst of his eleventh season with the Memphis Grizzlies. In this time, he has had three all-star appearances, one defensive player of the year award, three all-NBA teams, one all-rookie team and one all-defensive team. He has averaged a solid 15.2 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Now those numbers won’t jump off of the paper as an elite player, but there is so much more that Marc brings to the Grizz. He helped coin the “Grit ‘n Grind” term that’s synonymous with the Grizzlies and the team’s tough-it-out attitude.. He has been a pioneers in recruiting Spanish athletes to come and play in the NBA. Off the court, he’s known for his commitment to helping others He and his brother Pau started the Gasol Foundation, which is focused on ending childhood obesity worldwide, not just locally. He has also been a strong advocate for St. Jude Children’s Reseach Hospital and many other charities.
Mike is a different breed when he steps on the court. Even though the six-foot one-inch point guard has not made an all-star game, he is widely regarded as an elite player when he is healthy. Throughout his career, he has averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 assists per game and 1.5 steals. Along with Marc, he was one of the men who helped brand theGrizzlies’ Grit ‘n Grind attitude, and he has been known for his amazing defense. Mike is a perfectionist on the court and he is nothing short of that off the court. He has been awarded the NBA’s Sportsmanship award and often donates to charity.
Mike and Marc are two of the most loved people in the city of Memphis and no one is excited about the idea of them leaving, even if it is for the betterment of the franchise moving forward. At the end of the day the NBA is still a business and the Grizzlies might just need to hop in “tank mode” and start losing games for a shot at a top draft pick. Trading them might be the best move for the franchise, but man, it’s not an easy one.