Marcin Gortat's Rebellion

Marcin Gortat recently had a fascinating talk with Przeglad Sportowy's Marcin Harasimowicz after his game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The interview is in Polish, but worry not, there's no Google Translate needed. Because you have me, a bilingual Pole on a mission to share the latest updates in the life of everyone's favorite Polish Gazelle-Hammering Machine. Additionally, the portal reports Gortat rejected an extension for the 2014-15 season, and might be traded, as the Magic, Mavs, Bulls and Celtics are interested in his services. Yikes. Gortat's comments are worth noting for anyone following the Suns franchise and its solid Polish center.

Here's the interview (full interview and my reaction after the jump). All credit to Przeglad Sportowy and Marcin Harasimowicz, of course.

• • •

A lot has changed in the Suns since last season.

Marcin Gortat: Unfortunately, in my case – for worse. I'm certainly not the player I was last season, I need to find my place in the new order. I'm still capable of helping this team, and regularly recording a double double, but  when the ball sticks to one person on offence, it's hard to find a good rhythm.

Last season you've scored a lot of points off of Steve Nash pick and rolls. The team doesn't play that way anymore.

MG: That's true, but I can score in various situations. Finishing pick and rolls, in transition, from midrange, around the rim. There are a lot of options. Unfortunately, my two strongest plays – the pick and roll and post-ups have been taken away from me. It's not easy, we have a lot of plays that don't include me. And my chemistry with Goran Dragic hasn't been quite equal to what I had with Steve. These are things that we need to work on.

Coach Alvin Gentry told me that the main post option was Luis Scola. You, on the other hand, are number one on defense.

MG: Unfortunately... I've been doing the dirty work all my life, and now I have to come back to that. I will fight for what's mine. I'll try to prove to the coach that I can play an important role in the offence. 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.  I can't get frustrated now though, I have to stay positive.

The Suns have a lot of players that create for themselves.

MG: We have plenty of players who like to create for themselves, but it doesn't always work. We don't share the ball as much as we have in previous seasons. The ball doesn't move around the perimeter – it usually stops after one or two passes.  You can't play like this, let alone win. Basketball is a team sport. Nobody ever won a game alone.

Before the season you were promising a fight for the playoffs, but from the picture painted by the past few games, the Suns don't seem like a top 8 team in the West.

MG: Before the season started, I was a huge optimist. I thought we'd play a completely different game. Right now, it doesn't look good. We still have a lot to learn, and a lot to fight for. We need to fix our team defence. We can't give up a hundred points per game. We'll see how it works out. Right now, I'm not losing hope, there's still a shot at the playoffs.

Did the coach honestly tell you what he expects from you?

MG: We've talked before the season started. He said he expects me to play defence, rebound, block shots and quarterback the defence. He also said he wanted me to set up in the paint and wait for my shots. And I'm still waiting... (laughter) 

What are you expecting in the coming week?

MG: After the game against the Miami Heat, we have a longer break and some time to correct some errors in practice. It won't be easy though.

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