Last week on his birthday, Marcin Gortat had some interesting things to say. He always does. These quotes kind of got lost in the shuffle but don't deserve to die a silent death. So here they are, Marcin Gortat unplugged.
"I'm entering my prime time as a basketball player and I believe that this is the time I have to be productive. I got to take the most advantage of it and I believe all good things in front of me right now," Gortat said about turning 27...or 34.
"People asking how old I am and I say, 'for real or just for passport' because I'm actually 34, I just have made passport for the NBA to be able to play in the league so by the passport I'm 27 but for real I'm 34. I hope I'm not going to get in trouble because of that!"
Marcin then threw a shout out to Stu Jackson, head of NBA discipline, just in case.
"Stu, I love you Stu!"
Was he joking about really being 34? I guess so. He certainly has the hairline of a 34-year-old, but there's no other evidence beyond his own words that he faked a passport so I suppose we just ignore him at his word.
"I change the way I'm getting ready of the game, I change my warm-up, I change practice routine, my lifting program. I change everything...My status change back in Poland. People writing about me more, people talking about me more...My whole life turn 180 degrees since I'm here. It's nothing bad, I love it."
Needless to say, and Marcin's said it a few times, there's a difference in coaching and leadership styles between the Magic and Suns.
"I honestly don't remember when coach was yelling at me the last time. From the players stand point, this is probably the best thing ever. The best thing ever! It's even better than hitting three-pointer!"
How often would Stan Van Gundy yell at you?
"I don't want to honestly answer that question. This is a different story, different situation."
On the Suns, unlike the Magic, being ready to play every night.
"I believe this team is ready every time. Like I told you, I've seen a couple of teams and I've been in a couple of teams and I know that this team is actually ready for every game. Steve (Nash) and Grant (Hill), they set a tone from the first minute and when you see your two main guys running up and down and giving 100 percent then automatically everybody else is doing the same thing."
Asked about how his Magic teammates Mickael Pietrus and Vince Carter were doing, Marcin shared some interesting thoughts.
"I've never seen him (Pietrus) playing that well. Defensively. I've seen him hitting crazy threes but defensively, blocking everything, chasing people in the fast break and traditional defense and blocking shots. He's doing some hard fouls and he's playing really physical. He's doing real good job. I think he also kind of wake up finally and he's trying to play better and help this team."
"It is hard (for Vince Carter). First of all, he's not the youngest right now. Trust me, I know how I feel playing 30 minutes a game. I can only imagine how he feels being 34, 35 years old and having problems with the knees and different joints and now after each game he has to recover and try to get his body right. It's not really easy. Vince is Vince, he's still going to bring it.
"I believe he's a guy going to score for us in the most important moment but he's in pain. That's all I can say right now. I know him for a little bit and he doesn't feel comfortable you know. If he doesn't really want to talk to you in the morning that means he got problem with body, you know. When he's going to be healthy, he's going to be very good."
Happy 27th (or 34th) birthday, Marcin. Phoenix is happy to have you.