Wizards’ Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter are lifting together


(Jim Mone/AP)

Marcin Gortat’s first impression of Otto Porter Jr. was that the Wizards rookie is too skinny.

“I’m laughing at him now, because his calf is the size of my wrists,” Gortat said in early December. “Seriously, he’s got to put on some weight. He might get destroyed out there. He’s so small. But he’s a talented kid. He’s a good kid. He’s got a bright future.”

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 .”

Putting aside the fact that there were three most important things here, Gortat really seems convinced that Porter needs to be bigger. So Scott Jackson then wondered whether Gortat and his fellow big men could force Porter to eat more or something.

“Well first of all, he’s got to hit the weight room,” Gortat said. “Matter of fact he actually start doing it with me the past few weeks. I’m the first guy on this team that goes to the weight room. I always start early, and before games I’m going and lifting hard. So actually he starts showing up with me. We are not kind of on the same level yet, strength-wise, but the most important thing, he’s with me out there and he’s lifting. Obviously he’s gonna need some time — he’s got to lift hard, he’s got to eat well, he’s got to eat a lot, and he’s just got to take care of his body.”

You’ll recall that Porter recently said the healthiest thing he regularly eats is “a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” Would love to see Gortat’s proposed revisions to this diet. I’d bet it involves more dead animals.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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