Refreshed from the summer, Marcin Gortat showed up to the Washington Wizards’ media day with a new outlook, and a new look.
Gortat, his hair spiked and gelled into a well-crafted Mohawk, admitted that he returned to the hairdo of 2014 because he was “bored.” Too much time on his hands had him pondering all the ways he could keep the ‘hawk fresh through his upcoming 11th season in the NBA.
“I might throw some colors on it,” mused Gortat, who may have been joking when he revealed it takes an hour a day to get the hair just right. “I might go red. Blonde, maybe. Do something crazy, maybe. But I got to stay with the Mohawk the whole season.”
Rocking some funky hair is certainly something Gortat can do. But as for resurrecting the lost art of center play in the NBA, Gortat will save that for the next hero. Gortat, who is the oldest player on the Wizards roster at age 33, understands that he plays as a traditional, pick-and-roll 6-foot-11 center in an evolving league.
But does he have any plans to bring back the dated role?
“There are no plans. I’ve got two, three more years in me, [and] I’m gone.” Gortat said, his honesty inciting laughter from reporters. “I’m glad I’m at the end of my career right now. I’m not going to shoot threes; I’m not going to develop threes. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to try to bring back real centers. I’m just going to try to survive. For the next three years, I’m going to play my best. I’m going to try to spend all my six fouls as best as I can, get as many rebounds as I can, get some blocks, get some charges, hopefully we’re going to win some games then I’m gone. Straight up. I tell you, I’m gone.”
Before his grand exit, however, Gortat will return for his fifth straight season with the Wizards. Although last May during his exit interview with reporters, it seemed as though Gortat was preparing for a future outside of Washington.
“I’m just going to sit down in the summer and talk to my agent, talk to my people and I’m going to analyze if this is the right fit,” Gortat said at that time.
“I know how this business works. I’m the oldest guy on the team. They signed Ian [Mahinmi]. Also, he’s younger than me; he got a longer contract. I just know how the business works, so I’m prepared for everything, just in case.”
At some point during the summer, Gortat would have a discussion with the Wizards and learn the team had no plans on trading him. Months later, Gortat now describes his exit interview as “a little misunderstanding” and says people should not have read into his comments that he wanted out.
“I’m just a veteran who knows that [I’m going to be] 34 years old,” Gortat said, explaining the rationale behind his statements in May. “Behind me, I have a center who’s younger and the team is going in a certain direction. I’m the oldest guy on the team, and I’m probably the one piece that might be traded. So [I was] just getting myself ready for a situation if I’m going to be traded.
“But then when the management called me and said: ‘We’re not trading you. You’re not going anywhere.’ That whole conversation died,” Gortat said. “I mean, I’m here. I’m a Washington Wizard.”
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