You know that Raptors fans have been waiting for this moment, a chance at their first ever NBA championship, for a long time. If the Raptors can hold on to win it all, it’ll be wild in the streets of Toronto.
Surprisingly, there might be a bit of the same over in Memphis. Like the Raps, the Grizzlies are still seeking their first NBA title since being established in 1995 (originally in Vancouver, of course), but there’s something in it for Grizz fans if Toronto wins: Marc Gasol, the longtime face of their franchise, wins too.
Grizzlies superfan Malenda Meacham, known affectionly in Memphis and around the league as the Grizzlies’ “Bongo Lady,” is planning to lead a parade in Memphis if Gasol and the Raptors can win a championship.
In a New York Times story published on Monday about Gasol’s bond with Memphis, Bongo Lady said, “Marc has always been Memphis to me. But I really want the Raptors to win.”
Gasol, in turn, said, “I do miss Bongo Lady a little bit. She’s one of a kind.” He’s gone as far as to introduce his wife to Bongo Lady over his decade-long Memphis career.
Even now with the Raptors, Gasol continues to get incredible support from his former team’s fans. In these playoffs — the Grizzlies did not qualify for the postseason — Memphis has thrown its collective weight behind Toronto.
You don’t often see a player so loved that another team’s fanbase decides to tag along in his trade, but that’s the guy that the Raptors got when they got Marc Gasol.
h/t New York Times