"You understand the chance you have coming from a team that hasn't made the playoffs last year and more likely than not this year as well, having a chance to be back there, you know how much it means", Gasol said.
The Toronto Raptors acquired Marc Gasol in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies last week, and in his first home game with the team, the fans were quick to show their appreciation for the former All-Star forward.
The person spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the National Basketball Association has not held the trade call.
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri hasn't been shy about assembling pieces for a championship run, jettisoning a third of the team's roster, including Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas, ahead of the trade deadline.
They are planning to sign veteran guard Jeremy Lin after he completes his buyout negotiations with the Atlanta Hawks. It's exciting. You feel happy.
The Spaniard, who had spent his entire career in Memphis, one of the NBA's smaller markets, seemed briefly taken aback when he walked in to see five cameras and about a dozen reporters waiting to talk to him.
Gasol stepped onto the hardwood with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter and the Raptors down 23-17. "And what you're playing for, it's exciting as well".
"I gave it my all (in Memphis)", Gasol states. Gasol was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.
After years of being the biggest star in Memphis, his debut with Toronto was the first time he watched the opening tip of an National Basketball Association game while healthy from the sidelines since December 26, 2008.
So, while being traded might have been a tough adjustment earlier in his career, Gasol sounds like he was ready to make this move.