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NBA Champion Marc Gasol Set to Leave NBA to Play in his Native Spain

Without Marc Gasol, the Toronto Raptors would not have a championship banner hanging from the rafters of the Scotiabank Arena.

Now, a free agent, the veteran center is ready to return to his native Spain.

According to reports, the former Defensive Player of the Year is set to sign with FC Barcelona. Gasol, who was born in Barcelona, began his professional basketball career with the club, before leaving for CB Girona in 2006. Gasol then made his NBA debut in 2008 with the Memphis Grizzlies after ironically being traded for his older brother Pau.

The 35-year old Gasol struggled mightily with his offense this past season, while often seeming slow-footed on the defensive end of the floor. Additionally, a combination of injuries and poor postseason play has definitely left a sour taste in the mouth of the aging Spaniard.

“After everything, every ounce of energy is put into this game and given the circumstances that we’ve been on for the past few months, all you think about right now is trying to get to your family,” he said. “Whenever that process starts, as far as thinking goes, we’ll start making those decisions when the time comes. But right now, honestly, every ounce of energy I had and mind, was into just the next day.”

While the reports have not yet been confirmed, if Gasol is truly set to leave the NBA for Europe, he leaves behind a lasting legacy as one of the great Spanish players in the history of the league and one of the best international big men of all-time.


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