Acting on a tip, I asked Marcin Gortat this week whether he screams movie quotes to his Wizards teammates before games as a motivational technique.
(I don’t know, are you interested in this? Trust me, I understand that you probably aren’t. I feel like it’s kind of a good existential exercise. Go to an event featuring sort of famous people, get them to tell you something you didn’t know but nobody in the world cares about, revel in that newly discovered information, then stare right into the void when realizing that you might as well be reporting on the price of celery salt in Ashtabula.)
“Do you say something from 300 before games sometimes?” I asked Gortat.
“Hell yes,” Gortat responded.
“What do you say?” I asked.
“PREPARE. FOR. GLORY!” Gortat responded, in a very theatrical and loud voice.
“Before a game?” I asked.
“Always,” Gortat said.”When we’re running out, I’ll say from 300 ‘This is Sparta!’ or ‘Prepare for glory!’ [or] ‘Give them nothing but take everything!’ ”
“He thinks he’s a guy from 300, the big swole strong guy,” Garrett Temple said of Gortat.
“He definitely could have played in that movie,” Drew Gooden added.
I asked Gortat whether he was doing this movie quote thing to be funny or serious.
“Serious,” he said. “You know, yelling loud. I’m saying the quotes from Gladiator: ‘We who are coming to die salute you!”
Now, I’ve never seen any of the movies mentioned in this item. If you’re an insane movie buff, you might realize that some of these quotes are not word-for-word replications from the silver screen. Which became an issue once, when Gortat misquoted Denzel Washington in Training Day.
“Oh yeah, that was a funny one,” Gortat recalled. “I’m not telling you that.”
Luckily, others did. Like Temple.
“The part in Training Day where Denzel says – excuse my language here, I’m quoting a movie – ‘King Kong ain’t got [nothing] on me.’ ” Temple explained. “Marc, he kind of messed it up. He said ‘King Kong ain’t [nothinged] on me.’ So we clown him about that now, and so he jokes about it now. Now he says ‘King Kong just [nothinged] on y’all.’ Marc is a character, man.”
Gortat’s movie knowledge, by the way, isn’t just utilized in pre-game motivational speeches.
“He knows the movie Bad Boys 2 like the back of his hand,” Temple said. “He knows it just as much – I mean, no offense – just as much as American black people know it. That’s one of our favorite movies, but he knows that.”
In fact, Gortat can recite from memory the scene where someone comes to take Martin Lawrence’s daughter out or something. I don’t know. Never seen it.
“We haven’t watched it together, but everybody’s watched it so much that we just know the movie,” Temple said. “It’s hilarious. Action-packed. Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Bad Boys 2….You really ought to check it out man.”