backL.A. Times: Meanwhile, at the midpoint of a dicey four-game trip…

Pau Gasol will play in Memphis tonight for the first time since the Lakers plucked him from the Grizzlies almost 11 months ago, an event that sent ripples through the Western Conference, turned the Lakers from what? to wow, and caused general managers to slap foreheads in disbelief.

Gasol spent 6 1/2 seasons with the Grizzlies, guiding them to three playoff appearances and earning an All-Star appearance in 2006, though he never won a playoff game, an 0-12 blemish that might have stayed behind in fans’ minds as he left Memphis.

He might be booed during pregame introductions. Or he might be cheered. Either way, he’ll be back.

Fans in the southwest corner of Tennessee have already heard from Memphis Commercial Appeal writer Ronald Tillery, who authored a column saying Gasol should be held in high esteem because he owned numerous franchise records and “never quit on the court.” (Not to mention that the Grizzlies now have salary cap room without his contract and have built an energetic, future-driven team.)

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