Party first, contract later, Raptors’ Gasol says
|Toronto Star 16 Jun 2019 at 20:05|
Marc Gasol has won a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA world championship with Spain and has two silver medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, so he is no stranger to the highest level of basketball success.
Now the 34-year-old has an NBA championship to add to his list of accomplishments, and he was asked Sunday if the last couple of days basking in the Raptors’ triumph were what he expected.
“Yeah, with a lot more beer than expected,” he said, “but I was able to handle it pretty well.”
Gasol will play for Spain the World Cup in China, starting Aug. 31, and still has to decide whether to exercise his player option and remain with the Raptors next season or test NBA free agency in July.
“I’m sure that the franchise has other priorities to go first, and I’m sure that once that is decided we’ll see what the rest is, or what they want to do or how it goes,” he said. “But it’s time to celebrate and enjoy this moment.”
MV(V)P VOTE: As self-effacing as ever while remaining as self-confident as ever, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet at first joked about receiving one of 11 votes for NBA Finals most valuable player. VanVleet was the lone player other than Kawhi Leonard to receive a vote. It was cast by broadcasting icon Hubie Brown.
“That’s just me buttering up Hubie over the last few years,” VanVleet said Sunday. ”Every time I see him I give him a nice hug and we talk, chop it up. That’s all that was.”
But VanVleet, tremendous with his shooting and defence on Golden State’s Stephen Curry, also knows he deserves the accolades.
“You feel some sense of pride in knowing that you were right all along, or that you were right for believing in yourself, so that feels good and to win feels good,” he said. “But again, when I tell you that when I have zero points, and I tell you it’s about the team and it’s not about my personal numbers, I really mean that.”
VanVleet also wasn’t interested in providing details, gory or otherwise, of the Raptors’ trip to Las Vegas after Thursday’s win.
“I think we know how that saying goes,” he said of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. “Let’s just leave that there. I’m definitely not the guy to give you guys the play-by-play, but we enjoyed ourselves for sure.”
GREEN REBOUNDS: Danny Green’s mood at the end of Game 6 swung violently in about 10 seconds. He had committed what looked like a game-changing turnover that gave the Warriors one last shot to steal a win before a Curry missed shot ended things.