MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphians are not happy with Rudy Gay leaving. Fans say the trade comes at a time when the Grizzlies are at the top of their game.
Rudy Gay is a huge fan favorite. When trade rumors started swirling weeks ago, Grizz Nation worried - but just like Rudy, fans never imagined he would get traded this season.
"Rudy Gay was one of my favorite players on the team,” said Grizzlies fan Caleb Anthony.
The leading scorer for the Grizzlies is being traded to the Toronto Raptors, leaving fans heartbroken.
"Even though he may have his off and on nights, that's Rudy Gay. That's one of the stars of the team; it's going to be ashamed to see him go,” said another Grizzlies fan, Joseph Claiborne.
"He's an awesome player and he's really, really cute,” added Grizzlies fan Latasha Burl.
Sources close to the team say Rudy, who just lost his beloved grandmother last month, was "stunned" when he heard the news. His teammates expressed their shocked reaction on Twitter. Mike Conley tweeted "wow" and Tony Allen tweeted his disappointment in typical T.A. style.
Rudy Gay is also one of the highest paid Grizzlies. The superstar was earning $37 million this year and next season. That made him a prime target for a trade.
"It's going to save us some money, it's time to bring in another player but it's heartbreaking though," said fan Mitchell McConnell.
Rudy Gay was all grit and grind on the court. Off court he was all heart. Last Christmas, he took 100 kids on a Target shopping spree in East Memphis. He gave the children and their families $200 gift cards. For fans, it's going to be hard not seeing number 22 on the hardwood at FedExForum.
"That's too much; I can't handle that right now. No, I can't believe it,” said McConnell.
There has been no comment from management, and Rudy Gay is keeping quiet too.