Tony Allen: One of the things that people used to say about Memphis, it’s that, This is where guys go when it’s the end of the road. Talking guys like Antoine Walker, Allen Iverson, Darius Miles — and no disrespect to those guys, they’re great players, but it was like: Memphis was where they’d go for that last contract. For that contract before it’s over. And so anyway I remember it’s 4–9 or what have you, and we’ve lost five in a row, and I’m thinking, Man … am I another one of these guys now? Am I about to be one of these guys who did some things in the league, came to Memphis, and then he’s never heard from again?
Gasol is extremely serious about his gardening. He understands from experience that onions are fussier than eggplants. He enjoys a deep appreciation for composting. He cooks his own gazpacho and believes it tastes even better knowing it went from his farm to his table. We’ll get to why this matters for a professional basketball player—and it does—but first let us enjoy more seeds of gardening wisdom from an NBA All-Star. Gasol on tomatoes: “When you grow tomatoes, you’re going to get a lot of tomatoes. So you want to learn how to preserve.” Gasol on carrots: “I was planting them on too hard of a soil, and they would curl. Now we use a different soil. And we got good carrots.”