Marcin Gortat's big nose is even a bit larger right now thanks to the swelling that came after he broke it in Friday's game. In a freak accident, Gortat ran into the back of Steve Nash's head while running down court.
Saturday morning, Gortat went to the doctor to have the nose put back in place. For whatever reason, one he now regrets, he elected not to have any pain killing injections in the nose prior to the procedure. He described the process to us today in all its bloody, cartilage cracking, detail.
A friend of Gortat's was present with a video camera with the intent to put the entire thing on YouTube. That friend had to leave the room, so (fortunately) film doesn't exist.
We talked to Gortat after Sunday's shootaround and as you can see in the video below, his nose is swollen and he's got a black eye as well. He says the tape you see there on the nose is uncomfortable and he might remove that during the game.
He refuses to wear a mask, in part because one isn't ready yet, and also because that's just not how he rolls.
The Polish Machine doesn't wear a mouth guard or even tape his ankles for games so wearing a protective mask is not something he's going to do. Given his poor decision not to take the needle before having his nose put back in place, one might think this isn't a wise choice.
He explains the "thought" process.
"Playing with a mask is a totally different story. It's going to screw up my vision and I'm not going to feel comfortable so I'm just going to take a chance. If I'm going to get hit, I'm going to hit someone back for sure, but I'm probably going to end up in the hospital. So, I'm going to take that chance. Just in case (he gets hit in the nose), I'm going to be out for eight games, not 80."
Around these parts, however, a broken nose doesn't qualify as reason to miss time.
"Steve (Nash) has played for the last three years with a broken nose. Around here, it's not that big a deal. It's a badge of honor as a matter of fact," Alvin Gentry said.
Playing against Dallas tonight also has something to do with the decision, "Mark Cuban made me a millionaire so I just don't want to disappoint them."
Ironically enough, Gortat will get his first opportunity to start for the Suns tonight as well. He's excited about that.
"Yeah, I mean damn, it took me 42 or 43 games to get a starting job you know," he said.
Gortat not only sees himself as a potential starting center for the Suns, he's also got his eyes set on becoming a leader of the team. He vows to work hard in the offseason to improve, especially his post game with his back to the basket.
"I'll be ready, I'll be ready definitely next year...trust me, I'm having fun out there."
Here's the exclusive video of Gortat talking about his nose and his plans to become a leader of the Suns.