In an another blockbuster trade executed by Raptors President Masai Ujiri, the Toronto Raptors have added a 7 ft 1 in, 255-pound power centre to their roster: Marc Gasol. The trade, which happened on Feb 7, bids farewell to some of Raptors’ fans most beloved players including, Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, and Greg ‘Moose’ Monroe.
While NBA fans and pundits are on the fence about whether this trade has truly ‘moved the needle’ for the Toronto Raptors, we’ve yet to see how Gasol will be integrated into the Raptors’ game.
Here’s 6 things you might not know about Marc Gasol:
He’s a Memphis Grizzlies legend
Like DeMar to Toronto is Gasol to the Grizzlies. He played with the team for 11 seasons. When Grizzlies owner Robert Pera released the trade statement, he said: “[Marc Gasol’s] impact on this team and the city will live on, and we look forward to one day welcoming him back home to Memphis where his #33 jersey will hang in the rafters of FedExForum.”
He’s a family man…And a feminist
Gasol is married to Cristina Blesa. They had a daughter, and named her Julia Gasol Blesa. Yes, you heard that right: their daughter took his wife’s last name.
He’s an avid gardener
During off-season, he’s an avid gardener. Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, Gasol seems to have a bit of a green thumb. Some of his favourite dishes to make? Gazpacho.
He’s a humanitarian
While most NBA players spend their off-season training and lounging around the world, Gasol helps save migrants lost at sea. Last year, he volunteered with Open Arms Proactiva, which rescued Camaroonian refugees. What a man!
He doesn’t care where he works out
While some players have a preference for high-end gyms, it seems that Gasol is quite a content, down-to-earth guy. Mind you, he’s on a salary of $24 million a year. As the old adage goes, money can’t buy happiness.
The guy LOVES coffee
We get it. He’s European. They live for coffee in Spain. But Gasol even put a post up on his Instagram on #NationalCoffeeDay. What coffee spots do you think Gasol will hit up in Toronto?