Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and point guard Mike Conley, who have been at the center of the franchise for more than a decade, addressed recent rumors around their futures with Memphis.
Gasol appeared to be emotional while discussing the idea his tenure with the franchise where he started his career could come to an end before the Feb. 7 trade deadline after ESPN reported earlier this week the Grizzlies are listening to offers for him and Conley. He said his view and commitment to the Grizzlies won’t change, despite recent speculation.
“It won’t change to me,” Gasol said Wednesday, via the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “My relationship with the Grizzlies might change, but my relationship with Memphis won’t. What I feel inside and how I feel about Memphis and its people, it has nothing to do with the franchise or a temporary thing. … That’s not going to change.”
When asked about the possibility of playing his entire career with Memphis, Gasol, 33, said he’s not even thinking about it because it’s beyond his control.
“Does it feel like it’s up to me right now?” Gasol said when asked about the possibility of playing his whole career in Memphis. “No. So why even think about it. It’s irrelevant. You go out there and do your job. That’s plain and simple. I don’t want anyone to use this as an excuse not to do so.”
Gasol also questioned why his teammate Conley was part of the discussions, adding he’s “one heck of a player” that the franchise needs.
“I don’t understand why Mike is in those talks either,” Gasol said. “We’re going to need good players moving forward. I don’t understand why Mike is in this.”
Conley, on the other hand, simply said, “It’s part of the business.”
“It’s where we’re at, I guess,” Conley explained. “When I signed back a couple years ago, that’s a thought that goes through your head that, ‘Man, I could play in the same place for 14 or 15 years. That’d be awesome, and hopefully retire one day as a Grizzly.’
“You also understand that in three, four years a lot can happen and a lot can change. Memphis is all I know. This is my home. I love everybody here and my teammates and the organization. I don’t know any better. This is new grounds for me, so we’ll just see how it plays out.”