HoopsHype Marcin Gortat rumors

February 28, 2014 Updates
February 26, 2014 Updates

About a year later, a member of the Polish military contingent in Afghanistan — Mirosław Łucki, who Gortat believes was part of the group he met — died from injuries suffered in an explosion in Afghanistan. “Any such tragedy — the death of a soldier — touches us in a special way, because it creates a void, which in this family the soldier cannot fill,” a Polish Ministry of National Defense official said at a ceremony in Poland honoring Łucki, according to a translation on the Ministry’s Web site. Washington Post

Exactly six months after Łucki’s death, his wife and 8-year-old son Konrad were in Washington as guests of Gortat. With the financial assistance of Gortat and his foundation, they stayed in an Arlington hotel for a week during Konrad’s winter break, touring Washington’s museums, spending a day in New York City and watching two Wizards home games — wins over the Pelicans and Magic — from 100-level seats. Gortat planned to bring Konrad to Wednesday’s practice at Verizon Center and to lead him on a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility; he beckoned Konrad onto the court several times before Tuesday night’s game, autographing the boy’s Wizards hat and smiling when Konrad dribbled a basketball along the baseline. “Obviously because of the accident, because of the situation, we decide to bring the mother with the son,” Gortat said before the game. “And it’s sad, because the kid, he looks like a really nice kid but you can see he’s really missing activity with a father, where you go and play basketball, where you go and play different sports. … But this is what the soldiers do for us, and unfortunately some people don’t come back. So we decide to come out with the idea to bring him here to the States.” Washington Post

February 22, 2014 Updates

And for teammates — even teammates who have only been here a few months — this isn’t just an Internet joke. “Yesterday obviously when I woke up I was sitting watching TV and I some point I decided to check the HoopsHype,” Marcin Gortat said on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning. “I was just shocked. I dropped the glass out of my hands and I was just shocked. Eric [Maynor] is a very good point guard. I don’t think he really got his opportunity to play, and he has to play because he’s pretty good. … For Jan, I was shocked because he was the first guy who helped me the most here on this team right after the trade. From Day One he helped me to settle down, set up everything here in Washington and he was great to me. I never had such a great friend from Day One. It doesn’t matter where he’s gonna play; we’re always gonna stick together. He’s my boy for life now.” Washington Post

February 21, 2014 Updates
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January 29, 2014 Updates

Gortat and Nene were asked the same question: Which aspect from the older generation would they like to see in the current NBA. Nene liked the old-school style of play. Gortat just couldn’t get those shorts off of his mind. “I would take two different things,” said Gortat. “I would definitely make one of the nights old-school jersey and shorts. That would be funny, if everybody wore those. That would be great. I think they should come up with one night like that. The second thing, I would bring back the old basket construction, that you could actually break them. That would be great. And the third, if I could, the third I would bring back the size. Point guards the size of Magic Johnson. That’s ridiculous. If you could bring back the size, and have people with wingspans of 7-8, 7-9. If you could bring back that, that would be something incredible.” Washington Post

January 25, 2014 Updates

Gortat figured he would not be with the Suns much longer and even sounded like a trading block advocate. Five days before the season opener, he was sent to Washington with Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee (all of whom were subsequently waived) for a top-12 first-round pick in this year’s draft and Emeka Okafor, who likely will not join the Suns this season due to a neck injury. “It was no hard feelings,” Gortat said of the October trade. “It was funny because guys from the (Suns) front office said I handled this in the best way. I knew it was going to happen. I took this really easy. The first question when I walked into the room, smiling and laughing, was ‘OK, where am I going?’ They all smiled.” Arizona Republic

January 24, 2014 Updates

The Washington Wizards, given their druthers, would love to prevent starting center Marcin Gortat from getting to free agency in July. According to the latest whispers out of the nation's capital, Gortat has been presented with the option of signing a contract extension between now and June 30 by the Wizards, who acquired the Polish big man from Phoenix just days before the season started in late October. The Wizards, though, are apparently resigned to the idea that Gortat will become a free agent July 1 after playing out the final season of his current contract, which is valued at $7.27 million. ESPN.com

The reality is that Gortat -- who on Friday night makes his return to Phoenix for the first time to take on the Suns -- will almost certainly score more favorable contract terms if he waits until the offseason. But Washington, I'm told, is determined to fend off the competition this summer and regards re-signing Gortat as a top priority. He's averaging 12.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for the Wiz as one of the key cogs, along with the rise of guards John Wall and Bradley Beal and his frontcourt partnership with the bruising Nene, that has thrust the Wiz into the race for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs in the downtrodden Eastern Conference. ESPN.com

If the Phoenix Suns had forced him to start the regular season in a place where he was no longer wanted, constantly pondering his next destination and answering questions about the latest trade rumor, Marcin Gortat doesn’t believe that he would be nearly as productive as he has been thus far for the Washington Wizards. “I would’ve had a terrible season. I would be miserable,” Gortat said recently. Washington Post

Gortat is certainly grateful for the kindness but he is also a competitor, so he has no plans of going over to the weight room to hang out with his old teammates, coaches and trainers. He expects to sit in that visitors’ locker room with his Wizards teammates, focusing on what he most wants during his reunion. “I just want to beat them. Quite honestly, I just want to beat them bad,” Gortat said with a laugh, before explaining himself. “No hard feelings. I was never mad at these guys when I was leaving. It’s part of the game.” Washington Post

January 23, 2014 Updates

Trevor Ariza didn’t mention foreheads, but he did autograph a kid once. “I signed a little kid’s back before,” he laughed. “That’s pretty strange.” Marcin Gortat sees your foreheads and kids and raise you a combination kid/forehead for the win. “The craziest thing I had to sign. You really wanna know?” he said. “Well, obviously all different parts of the body. Abs, hands, arms, head. I recently signed a forehead of a freshly born baby, which was ridiculous. And I said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ and the lady said, ‘It’s gonna be a sign he’s gonna be a basketball player.’ So, for some reason, I don’t know why I signed it, why I did it, I felt bad for this kid. But at the end of the day I realized I would never do this again.” Washington Post

January 15, 2014 Updates

A month later, Porter is an occasional part of the Wizards’ rotation and Gortat is no longer a newcomer. And yet if you ask him about Porter — as ESPN 980′s Doc Walker did on Tuesday — the so-called Polish Machine will still talk about Porter being excessively skinny. “First of all, the most important thing I see, he’s a hard-working kid,” Gortat said. “This is a good sign. Second thing, he’s a smart, bright kid who doesn’t complain, doesn’t create any problems, and that’s the most important thing. He has actually bright future. Obviously he’s skilled, he can shoot the ball, but the most important thing for him right now is he has to put some weight. He got to put a few pounds. He’s really small, he’s really skinny, and when he gets out there he has to be able to push people around, fight them and be physical with them. And right now he’s not really ready for that. But like I said, he’s got plenty of time in front of him. He’s a bright player, he’s gonna have a big future in this league .” Washington Post

January 13, 2014 Updates

Finally, here, via Gortat’s Instagram page, is Gortat standing next to the 7-foot-7 Gheorghe Muresan. And now the giant has met his match, and is in turn made to look like a man of modest stature. Washington Post

January 11, 2014 Updates

A night after limiting Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert to 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, Gortat has to quickly regroup. “Quite honestly, it’s one of the matchups I’m always waiting for,” Gortat said. “I’m definitely going to need those fouls, because I’m going to use the fouls. The most important thing is make sure he doesn’t get to the paint easy. Do everything to push him out of the paint. Let him make a jump shot. End of the day, he’s going to make a few. We got to live with that. Washington Post

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