Marcin Gortat has three years, $21.7 million left on his current NBA deal. While in NBA terms that seems a pretty good deal for the Suns, it’s also enough money to set Gortat and his family up for life.
Gortat and the Polish basketball federation have not been able to find affordable insurance for that contract, so baring a last-minute change Gortat will not play in EuroBasket, reports Paul Coro at the Arizona Republic.
“He really wants to play and loves the national team,” (Gortat’s agent Guy) Zucker said. “He’s the most important player on the team and was going to be the captain. He’s really unhappy. He’s a very proud citizen and wants to represent them. He’s definitely not a happy camper but he’s got $22 million coming and can’t make an emotional decision. This is a business where the phone stops ringing when you get a serious injury.”
Even with him Poland was in a tough spot, in the “group of death” at EuroBasket with Turkey, Spain and Lithuania (as well as Great Britain and one play-in team). Without him, Poland’s chances of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics or even the secondary play-in tournament for the games is slim.
Marcin Gortat is not just a big body in there to bang and grab rebounds and not screw up while Dwight Howard gets a blow for the Magic.
He wants you to know he can shoot — sure he only took one shot a game last season but he hit 53 percent of then. At the FIBA World Championships this summer playing for Poland “The Hammer” dropped 23 in one game, 29 in another and led the whole tournament in shooting percentage.
He wants the rock more in Orlando.
But “the man” is holding him down — and that man is all his teammates as well as turtleneckless Stan Van Gundy. That’s what Gortat essentially told the Orlando Sentinel.
“There are days when I’m about to explode and just say a couple of things or go to the coach and tell him what I want to do,” Gortat said. “I feel like I’m one of the guys who has to sacrifice a lot to adjust to this team. I can tell you that it’s not easy.”
The Orlando Magic, meanwhile, are not overly concerned about Gortat’s desire to play more offense. During the team’s 3 1/2- hour meeting last Monday, his teammates told him they wanted him to focus on his role of defending, rebounding and running the floor….
“A lot of players feel that they can do more than what everybody’s asking them to do,” Howard said. “But you’ve gotta know your role. Teams that win championships, everybody knows their role.”
So long as Gortat is defending and rebounding, he really should get some touches. He can score. That will never be his primary role on this team — nor should it be — but he can run the inside-out offense, too.
Just ask him.
I’ve played pickup games on some pretty rutty outdoor courts before, but this would take the cake. It is in Poland, part of a new sports complex where they needed a field to use for soccer too (according to the translation) so here you go. (Thanks to reader Marek Dziuba for the tip)
As SLAM’s Marcel Mutoni noted on twitter, this may be the perfect court for Steve Nash’s game.