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The Raptors made him champion and the Lakers are his current team, but something very special was built in Memphis. And so Marc Gasol always considered it his home. There he was formed when his brother Pau came to the NBA and there he made his debut when his brother was transferred to the Los Angeles franchise, a beautiful loop that they still want to show off. The transfer one day criticized became an impressive value for some Grizz that in those years lived the most fierce game ever seen there and served as antiheroes of a basketball league that vibrated with the spectacularity of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or the Spurs, among others.

In 2008, the year of the jump to the NBA, the Grizzlies coach was Marc Iavaroni, who had been re-engaged from having been with Pau and also with Juan Carlos Navarro. It lasted a season, without pain or glory, and the change was called Lionel Hollins. And boy was there a turn of the wheel. In Memphis, as he admits, they still call him a legend if they see him on the street. It was created, with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as the brightest players but with an army of soldiers such as Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, a particular environment. The shield that they exercised with their style of play, very defensive and of constant struggle against teams with more quality in their hands but with fewer arrests, made them go up. Marc became the best center in the NBA, Hollins earned a position for many years as a coach: now both are in Los Angeles and both with rings on their hands (in Hollins’ case, as a coach because as a player he already he won it in 1977).

The relationship between boss and subject was made strong by the character of the two and for the mutual respect that they keep until today. In the change of season that occurred in 2020, with Marc being a free agent and looking for a team, the two had a conversation the same day it became known that Gasol was going to the Lakers.

In words collected by Kyle Goon in The Orange County Register the two talk about this meeting in the current NBA champion.

“It looked like he was doing the job of a commercial.”, assures about the call of last November: “We talked about a lot of things: what we were doing as a team, how could it fit in, etc. It’s one thing to hear what your agent or GM is saying, it’s another to hear it from someone on the ground. I thought I might. help him what I told him “. And the signing became effective. “It is true that now we shoot more triples and the technology we use to study the game is modern, but Marc fits in with whatever you want to do. Because when you have the intelligence to play that he has, you fit in”He adds about what they thought he could and is already contributing. “Before I was much less, how would I put it, slim”Hollins jokes about Gasol’s physical change from the Memphis days.

That stage of only four years changed the city, made basketball a real attraction for sports fans in a city and a state known for another spectacle: music. Those playoffs against the Spurs, the battles against the Clippers, heart-stopping victories and three starts in four attempts. Then everything continued with Dave Joerger and David Fizdale, but with the rope around his neck of trying one more step and not being able to take it. That is why Lionel Hollins’ passage through the Grizzlies is kept as something magical.

“Back then, as a coach, he allowed us to be honest from the beginning. He practically trained us the way he wanted to train us, but he was very tough and brutally honest with us. He held us accountable for the situation.”, resume. “Meeting him is special and a great reason to be with the Lakers. He is someone that I know will be truly honest when it comes time to be.”, concludes.

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