Marc Gasol waited for the market to close on Thursday in Memphis by sending a tweet with the image of Freddie Mercury while exercising the voice before a concert, signed by the Raptors on Friday in Toronto and premiered on Saturday in New York with victory against the Knicks (99-104). Now, eagerly awaits his first appearance before his fans, early this Tuesday (1.30) at the Scotiabank Arena in front of Brooklyn, and urges him to arrive on Thursday and the break of the League on the occasion of the All Star. Need to return to Memphis to get the clothes and personal effects to face the remainder of the season in a team that plays more than 1,500 kilometers from Tennessee, in another country. The rush is worth it. He has gone from the penultimate ranked West to the second and one of the East favorites.
Marc Gasol, whom Memphis will remove the shirt with the number 33 In gratitude to his career for eleven years, he lives the sweetest face of the NBA. The goal is worth it. Smiling, in the visiting locker room of Madison Square Garden, he savored his premiere, his first 19 minutes with the Raptors, his first seven points, six rebounds, one assist and two steals. "It is a process. There is much to learn. The goal is clear, unique, play to win the title. I'm going to give everything for it. In this team everyone fights, fights, communicates and there is no selfishness. I'm very happy".
Nick Nurse, the Raptors coach, had the usual starter this season: Lowry, Green, Leonard, Siakam and Ibaka. The Congolese player with a Spanish passport is the team's starting center. Nurse must now manage taking into account the arrival of Marc. Sant Boi began the game on the bench, along with the national coach and assistant Raptors, Sergio Scariolo. "He's a very intelligent player, an emotional guy, and he's very motivated. He learned to control his character. He is mature, a good teammate and a great help for coaches. Probably brings something that this team never had. Basically, he is a great passer, someone who sees the next play a fraction of a second before most rivals, teammates and, also, coaches. It is very versatile ", analyzes Scariolo.
The coach believes that Marc, at just 34 years old, "is at his best, at the peak of his career, in terms of maturity, ability to integrate and do what the team needs to win." He explained to the American journalists about the evolution of Marc: "This boy started being fat, even fat, when he was a boy. Then he grew as a professional and developed great skills. They were there, but he really did not know how to use them and it was a bit late. His best moment came later, and that's why he still has a lot to give. " Nurse was satisfied with the first evolutions of Marc: "He has played with the second unit and has created a lot of shots. We have seen a player with a lot of class, without a doubt ".
Kawhi Leonard, The figure of the Raptors with Kyle Lowry, commented on the arrival of Marc Gasol to the team: "It is a bet, and I think it will help us for everything it can contribute, defensively, it is a great passer, it can score and it can be also a good shooter. "
In contrast to the situation of the Sant Boi center, the race of Álex Abrines goes through moments of uncertainty. On Saturday he stopped being an Oklahoma City Thunder player. The club statement, signed by its vice president and sports director, Sam Presti, is limited to explaining that Abrines has been fired. The Spanish player, 25 years old and in his third season in the team, who came from Barcelona, had only played two games and only 15 minutes since December 23. His absence, in principle, was due to a virus. Then, the Thunder only reported that their loss was due to personal problems. It has not transcended what problems it is.