By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcin Gortat is not only the best Polish player ever, but also a guy who speaks him mind out. That was evident in the Washington Wizards media day in which he addressed every possible issue.
Starting from a Euro-centric matter, Gortat had only good things to say about former Barcelona player Tomas Satoransky: “I’m excited to have another white guy on the team, I’m excited to have an Eastern European guy on my team. He’ll be a tremendous addition. Point guard with that kind of size is just not normal to find. He’s got incredible basketball IQ, great passer. Obviously, he needs a year or two to develop. But he’s an international guy who’s going to bring a lot of different things to the table in the locker room. That’s what you need sometimes.”
Despite ignoring reporters toward the end of last season, Gortat does not hold grudges: “Well, listen, just because I didn’t talk to you doesn’t mean I don’t like you. I was just protecting myself. I’d rather sneak out of the locker room and not speak to anybody than stand in front of you and say something stupid. Then you gotta write it, because it’s your job. But I gotta take responsibility for it. I’d rather just sneak out and say, ‘Not English’, ‘I don’t speak English’. I’m a 10-year veteran, I know when I have to protect myself.”
After all Gortat is now one of the leaders of the team: “We have a lot of young guys who are listening. And you gotta ask yourself, ‘What’s leadership?’ I can’t come to you and tell you you’re going to make threes. Being the leader is making sure these guys are on time, ready for the game, ready for the meeting, on time for practice… Me, John, Bradley, we’re making sure these guys are early here. Working on their game. Listening. Not complaining. This is the first thing we have to do. We can’t control how they’re going to perform on the court. But this is what you gotta do.”
And of course he spoke about the tense situation between Brandon Beal and John Wall: “I heard this one comment—’We have moments when we dislike each other on the court’—It is true. It is true. But at the same time, it’s nothing crazy where we have to panic. Me and John and Brad, we function with each other all time. It’s not like we’re hating each other. But we’ve got those moments. Hey listen, these guys are growing up as basketball players. I’m… maybe not growing up, but I’m a 10-year veteran, so I know how it is. Situations like that, you’re gonna have on a team. Whoever said that, John or Brad, it was like that. And it’ll probably be like that again. But it doesn’t mean we can’t win basketball games.”