The Washington Post

Marcin Gortat hasn’t always been ‘The Polish Hammer’

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Marcin Gortat has discussed his most common nickname, “The Polish Hammer,” many times. In December, the Wizards’s center explained that the moniker was first given to him by a blogger after Gortat, who is Polish, led the NBA summer league in blocked shots in 2007. Before that, “The Polish Machine” was most often associated with pro wrestler Ivan Putski.

Gortat has had other nicknames throughout his career. How do they stack up to The Polish Hammer?

The Polish Machine

Gortat has said he’d prefer to go by this nickname instead of “The Polish Hammer,” but it’s probably a little late for that.

“My first nickname back in Germany was the Polish Machine,” Gortat explained during a 2011 interview with Tom Chambers. “The reason why is I started basketball really late and I was staying at the gym every night. Actually, I was almost sleeping at the gym, working out hard, working on my game, and working on my body.”

One of his coaches told Gortat he worked liked a machine and a teammate turned that into a nickname.

The Polish Sausage

Limited to message boards, comment sections and this dude, who was particularly impressed with a Gortat ‘twist’ move during a 2010 game between the Magic and Wizards.

The Polish Gazelle

Before the 2012 season, a svelter machine announced a nickname change.

“I’m 100 percent sure I’ve become a better player and hopefully I show it this season,” Gortat said. “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.”

This one was short-lived.

Sexual White Chocolate

Martell Webster revealed his Coming to America-inspired nickname for Gortat in December, before Gortat serenaded Webster with a pretty solid rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Barbecued Pierogi

Maybe Shaquille O’Neal didn’t mean to suggest “Barbecued Pierogi” as a new nickname for Gortat during last night’s halftime show, but it’s better than “The Polish Sausage,” and it’s also not a Polish sausage.


So, Polish Hammer (or M.G. Hammer) it is.

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.



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