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Grizzlies fan gifts signed Gasol jersey to transplant fan 800 miles away

Jeffrey Sample gifted a signed Pau Gasol jersey to Tim Whalen, a man who lived in Memphis for...
Jeffrey Sample gifted a signed Pau Gasol jersey to Tim Whalen, a man who lived in Memphis for over 20 years but moved to Minneapolis 2 years ago.(WMC)
Published: May. 1, 2022 at 4:08 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Round 1 of the NBA Playoff series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves may have ended with the Grizzlies moving on, but a lasting connection between the city is being forged, post-series.

During our coverage of Games 3 & 4 of that series in Minneapolis, we sat down with Grizzlies transplant fan Tim Whalen, who lived in Memphis since the early 90s and had been a die-hard Grizzlies fan since the pyramid days.

Whalen and his wife moved to Minneapolis right before the COVID-19 pandemic to be closer to their son.

After seeing the story air on April 22, Memphian Jeffrey Sample called Action News 5 saying he had something he wanted to give Whalen.

It was a signed Pau Gasol jersey.

“The story just took me. I said ‘Well, I’ve got a jersey,’” Sample said when we picked up the Gasol jersey from him. “I was going to sell it, but I didn’t sell it. I said ‘I need to give it to a real Grizzlies fan.’ He’s probably bigger than I am. I saw his memorabilia, and I thought ‘Let me add to it.’ It’s a great conversation piece, and I want him to have it.”

Whalen received the jersey from Jarvis Greer on Friday, April 29, just before the Grizzlies won the series to move onto Round 2 against the Golden State Warriors.

As one can imagine, this gesture came as quite a shock to Whalen, but he’s excited to add the jersey to his collection of Grizzlies memorabilia as the team continues their run in the NBA Playoffs.

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