Marcin Gortat's days with the Phoenix Suns in his own words and highlights

Doug Pensinger

Few NBA players give a better interview than the Phoenix Suns Marcin Gortat over his past three years in the desert. Gortat was open and honest. And, he was a pretty darn good player too.

With a heavy heart, we bid adieu to the Phoenix Suns best center since Shaquille O'Neal made the All-Star team in 2009. If you count more than one year, Gortat was the Suns best multi-season center since the turn of the century and one of the best centers of all-time for the franchise.

To wit (among forward/centers, NOT including Amare Stoudemire):

  • 4th most games started at Center in Suns history - 139 (leader: Mark West, 349)
  • 11th most overall games at Center - 182 (Alvan Adams, 988)
  • MOST rebounds per game among Suns centers who started at least 1 game - 9.3
  • 5th in points per game at Center - 13.3 (Shaquille O'Neal, 16.5)
  • 5th in field goal % among Suns centers who played more than 21 games - 54.7% (Steven Hunter, 61.4%)
  • 4th most Win Shares among Suns centers - 16.1 (Alvan Adams, 73.5)

In video

In quotes

"You know what, I ain't watching ESPN anymore. I ain't watching ESPN unless there's a game. When the Miami Heat had this losing streak, people started talking less about them, and that was the right time to start talking about the different teams who are really good like the Boston Celtics, San Antonio. Now you've just got to hope that this losing streak's going to start today." -- on ESPN's coverage of the Miami Heat, December 23, 2010

"It's just a little bit frustrating when you come in the locker room and people are talking about the offense. That's not the way you're going to win NBA games. I don't know if it's just me, or maybe I'm just different, but I came from a team where everybody's competing and trying to do the stuff that coach is saying. We're just totally changing our rotations, changing our stuff that we set before the game. We're not playing hard enough and I've just got to tell you, there's a lot, a lot of work in front of us. The positive thing is? It can't be worse." -- December 30, 2010 (two weeks after trade)

"I'm trying to get some rebounds and stops, but unfortunately there's not too many opportunities for me to rebound because the team is scoring 120-something points. It's just frustrating; frustrating as hell. I'm not going to lie." -- December 30, 2010 (again, just two weeks after the trade)

"I always had the feeling Perkins was still mentally fighting Dwight, even when Dwight would come out of the game. He's a physical guy who won't let anything go. He's like a little dog that will never let go of you. They'll keep barking and running around you. You keep throwing the little ball, and they keep bringing it back. He'll grab a hold of your leg and never let go. He keeps fighting. At some point, you say, ‘Dude, haven't you had enough?' Honestly, that's character, and I respect that."-- on Kendrick Perkins, January 28, 2011

"People talk about him like he's some sort of joker, but in my second year, he asked me how my dad was doing. It was impressive to me that a guy like Shaquille O'Neal knew about my dad. Since then, I always had fun playing against him. I took a couple of elbows, too!"-- on Shaquille O'Neal, January 28, 2011

"Rajon Rondo is a great point guard, but he isn't better than Steve [Nash]. As many passes as he gave me today I think I had so many passes the entire season a couple years ago. It's just a great feeling to play with him." -- January 31, 2011

"I know what frustrates this guy. I know what moves he likes to do. So I would say I have a little advantage over the rest of the guys in the league. But still, (at the) end of the day, it's still about having big balls and holding your ground when the guy's trying to kick your ass. Seriously, man. It's not easy when you have a 280-pound guy with a smile on his face trying to crush your face. You've got to be tough, I'm telling you right now. His elbows are hard (as) rocks." -- on Dwight Howard, March 12, 2011

"This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn't take. So I thought, when you don't want it, there will be 50 persons behind you, waiting to take this chance, and then I came by and I took (it). Sorry, that's business, that's life." -- on Robin Lopez, July 2011

"I would like to make the playoffs. That is the most important thing. Personally, I would just like to be better than last year. I would like to make another step forward and reach that point of being a double-double guy and set a couple small records." -- December 6, 2011

"I just have to be a simple basketball player. Try and dunk the ball, not try to be a finesse player, you know, finish with the hooks, finish with the backboard. Just got to go in and dunk the basketball, that's it. Just be the simple basketball player." -- April 12, 2012

"Basically, I am going to try and prove that I can play without him. There was a lot of talk in the offseason about how I'm going to play and how I'm going to handle the whole situation without him. I believe I'm an experienced player already. I've been in the league a few years by now, and I have other point guards. I have Goran Dragic and Kendall Marshall. I have great passers. I'm quite sure I'll be fine." -- on not needing Steve Nash, October 1, 2012

"I'm 100 percent sure I've become a better player and hopefully I show it this season. I'm in incredible shape. I'm definitely missing a few pounds because I didn't have enough time to get in the weight room. But we've got the new nickname 'Polish Gazelle.' Trust me, I can outrun everybody, even point guards." -- October 6, 2012

"Unfortunately, I don't think I'm even an option for Gentry. He doesn't even take me into consideration. The situation is critical. We're playing the same thing we've been playing last year, but the truth is we have a completely different set of players. I don't think it really works." -- on being frustrated, November 19, 2012

"I miss Steve. I'm not going to deny it. I do miss him, I miss him a lot. I didn't believe it was going to be like that this year. Last year when we were finishing the season and people were talking about Steve leaving the team, I was like 'at the end of the day, if he leaves, I'll be fine anyway'. Well, it's different." -- on missing Steve Nash, January 30, 2013

"I think we need some changes. We need some serious conversations. First of all, I'm going to look at myself. Hopefully the management and personnel guys will do the right thing. We are missing character. We are missing strong minds in the team. We are just weak mentally. I would say that we need more talent, more athletic energetic guys, people who want to compete and fight. That's the most important thing." -- end of 2012-13 season, April 23, 2013

"I want to leave this country [Slovenia] with a medal. If we get it, I can tell you right now, I am going be missing training camp in the NBA. I am going to be partying for three weeks right after the tournament!" -- over in Slovenia for Eurobasket, September 3, 2013

"We all know what's going to happen. It's a business. I totally understand that. I totally understand the situation. There's no hard feelings. I will try to do everything that's necessary to win basketball games, and whatever happens happens. I'm grateful for everything I had in this team." -- September 30, 2013

"We all fighting for bread, we all fighting for milk. I'm not letting anybody take my job. I'm gonna come here, and I'm gonna fight these guys just like I'm fighting everybody else. I'm gonna do whatever I can to stay in this league, and on this team, as long as possible." -- September 30, 2013

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