Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat is not known for being soft-spoken, tactful, or particularly cautious with what he's willing to let fly from his mouth. Trust me, we love that about him.
In a recent Q&A with kids at what appears to be a basketball camp, Gortat told a story about teammate Robin Lopez.
In the video below, Gortat is asked about his relationship with Lopez after Gortat beat him out for the starting center job. Gortat then proceeds to explain how his relationship with Lopez got off to a bad start.*
Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn't know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn't know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.
Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.
"This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn't take.
So I thought, when you don't want it, there will be 50 persons behind you, waiting to take this chance, and then I came by and I took (it). Sorry, that's business, that's life."
[Update, 07/24/11 2:13 PM MST ]
In an email response to this story, Robin Lopez said they usually don't know if practice is going to start on the court or the video room, "so there's a good chance I just didn't know when he asked me."
Here's the original video:
* Translation and transcription of Gortat's words comes from Polish commenters at Bright Side of the Sun and has been confirmed by an additional reliable source.
In other Marcin Gortat offseason news, the Polish big man appears to be headed to Spartak St. Petersburg to play in the Russian Superleague if the lockout continues. He will reportedly make $2.5 million. It's a good thing too, because he clearly won't be making any money on the tennis court.