Marcin Gortat gives another troubling interview


Following the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, Marcin Harasimowicz of Przeglad Sportowy caught up with Marcin Gortat for a second round of pointed tidbits following his comments from last month.

Adam Koscielak of Gothic Ginobili was kind enough to send us the translation of the interview, one that tells of Gortat again wondering aloud about Alvin Gentry’s coaching.

More troubling is the tone.

Asked why he was so good in the Portland game on Nov. 21 yet struggled against the Clippers on Saturday, Gortat shucked the blame away.

“It’s mostly because various players play different roles and have different playing time in every game,” Gortat said. “The team isn’t crystallized. It doesn’t have everyone knowing his role. Nobody’s really sure how many minutes he’ll spend on the court, whether he even gets a shot.”

Later in the interview, Gortat admits that his aggressiveness has faded but gives a reason outside of his control.

“Maybe my aggressiveness has faded, but you know why? Because in one game, I play well, and in the next, I don’t, while in the third one, I don’t play at all, and in the fourth, I’m suddenly getting a bunch of passes,” Gortat said. “There’s no consistency. I think that might be affecting me.”

The “next” game where Gortat struggles certainly seems like the valid cause for not getting regular minutes. And in the “fourth” game, admitting to receiving touches certainly seems like a good chance for Gortat to redeem himself. That would be assuming that any talented NBA center needs an offense tailor-made for him to score.

In an increasingly scary trend of interviews, it sounds like Gortat doesn’t think he’s getting chances to show his abilities. Whether “chances” means touches or playing time, he’s not happy.

“First of all, I believe I’m a good basketball player,” Gortat said. “I showed and confirmed that many times already. I don’t need to argue with anyone about it, or repeat it ad nauseam. I know my worth. I believe in myself, but at the same time, I’m waiting for a chance. I don’t give up, if I did, I wouldn’t be myself.”

When he came to Phoenix from Orlando, we thought Gortat’s chance to shine was an opportunity to be a starting center for an NBA team. Now, it’s a wonder what more he could ask for.

While his minutes have dropped since his initial comments and Jermaine O’Neal and Luis Scola have closed games in his place, Gortat did see crunch-time minutes on Sunday against Orlando. He scored 12 points to go with six rebounds in 32 minutes, which was twice the amount of time either Scola or O’Neal played.

The trio as a whole got belted by the Magic big men. Second-year pro Nikola Vucevic scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds while rookie Andrew Nicholson (you could see this one coming following his career game prior to the meeting with the Suns) scored 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals in 25 minutes.

It is doubtful the Magic ran many plays specifically to set Vucevic or Nicholson up for a score.

As Schwartz said a month ago, it’s refreshing to see athletes avoid cliches. But cliches often represent truth in that there are only so many ways to say a locker room is together, the team has the same goal of winning and everything is hunky-dory — even in desperate times.

Gortat isn’t saying much about fighting for his teammates; that was a sharp difference between his interview and Jared Dudley’s comments following the loss to the Magic.

In Schwartz’s postgame video of the Orlando loss, Dudley, like Gortat, mentions that rhythm — confidence even — is difficult to grasp when rotations change from game to game. One reporter points out that it’s hard for rotations to be set when most of the Suns are so inconsistent.

“Yes. That’s right,” Dudley responded. “Guys have to hold each other accountable. If you’re not producing … next guy up.” Dudley goes on to say Gentry’s job is a tough one.

The captain’s take on the recent struggles at least provides evidence that the locker room isn’t as fractured as the seven-game losing streak might suggest.

Gentry said after Sunday’s loss that he doesn’t worry about Sebastian Telfair’s effort level. Now it’s a wonder how many other players are in that same boat, and then, how many others will settle to fight for their own success.

Here’s the entire transcription, again, courtesy of Adam Koscielak.

Przeglad Sportowy: The Suns are in a tough spot, something that coach Alvin Gentry also talked about. You lost six games in a row.

Marcin Gortat: That’s true. 6 losses and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to break this streak in the next game. This is a tough moment, not only for the team, but also for myself, for my career. I’m going through tough moments. It’s situations like these where you have to show mental strength and think about what we can change. I need to train hard every day and hope for the best.

How would you explain the teams streaky play this season? For three quarters you were neck in neck with a top-notch team in the NBA, the Clippers, only to waste it in three or four minutes.

MG: Unfortunately, there are some “black holes” in our games that are hard to logically explain. There are moments in which it feels like somebody turned off the power. As if someone pulled the plug. We compete, we fight, we try, and then suddenly they go up a dozen points and we either mount a comeback, or it’s too late.

Coach Gentry admitted that he’s still looking for an optimal lineup, and he himself doesn’t quite know how to use certain players. Your team is really going through a lot of changes all the time. Is Gentry looking for a perfect balance?*

MG: Maybe, I can’t really say anything about that.

In some games you score a lot of points, for example 22 against the Trail Blazers and 18 against the Knicks, but you also have games like the one in Staples Center against the Clippers. Why?

MG: It’s mostly because various players play different roles and have different playing time in every game. The team isn’t crystallized. It doesn’t have everyone knowing his role. Nobody’s really sure how many minutes he’ll spend on the court, whether he even gets a shot. We’re still at the point of finding our strong suits.

How can you correct this?

MG: First and foremost – by practice. We can talk about how much (shots? playing time? t/n), and what we want in the locker room before and after games, but it isn’t working so far. Only hard work in practice will let us eliminate our mistakes and fix our play.

You mentioned that you are going through some hard times? How do you plan on breaking through this crisis?

MG: Talking to the people that are close to me, that helped me built my career, or were close to me when I was growing as a basketball player. I’m capable of showing a high level. I have no other choice, but to look for a place to me in the team and fight for what’s mine. It’s really hard this season, though. This is an important mental test for me. I need to stay strong and focus on basketball. I can’t be discouraged by things that happen in my team. It’s not easy. This is the first time I’m in a situation like this in my career. Physically, I feel well. Maybe my aggressiveness has faded, but you know why? Because in one game, I play well, and in the next, I don’t, while in the third one, I don’t play at all, and in the fourth, I’m suddenly getting a bunch of passes. There’s no consistency. I think that might be affecting me.

In the game against the Trail Blazers, you’ve shown that you can play a big role in the Suns offence.

MG: First of all, I believe I’m a good basketball player. I showed and confirmed that many times already. I don’t need to argue with anyone about it, or repeat it ad nauseam. I know my worth. I believe in myself, but at the same time, I’m waiting for a chance. I don’t give up, if I did, I wouldn’t be myself.

Broussard: Gentry’s job is safe

Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver told ESPN’s Chris Broussard on Monday that Alvin Gentry’s job is safe.

“We’ve got confidence in our coaching staff and we’re not considering making changes,” Sarver told ESPN.

“It’s still early in the season,” he added. “We’re playing worse than our talent, and a lot of that has to do with confidence. It’s up to the coaches and players to start playing better and to get that swagger back and turn things around. Things can turn quickly in this league.”

That’s not surprising news considering the circumstances.

A midseason firing wouldn’t do much for a team that, even if all was going well, is clearly in a rebuilding mode. Plus, Gentry’s contract ends after this season, making it financially moot or even more expensive if they let him go, paid him off and then had to pay an interim coach.

If anything, Gentry has this season to earn his next contract.

  • scott

    This guy needs to go I’m getting sick of nothing being his fault and nobody believing in him but himself. Starting caliber NBA Centers that are as good as Gortat claims to be don’t need to be spoon fed buckets and they sure as hell don’t need to be the #1 option. If Gortat was this uber talented dominant force he thinks he is he’d be getting 20 points a night off of the 7+ offensive rebounds he should be getting and off of transition dunks, but he’s not that guy. If he was able to put up 28 points a night like a dominant center who’s the #1 option he’d probably be the #1 option but again he’s not, he is a whiner and the quitter he claims not to be however. He was getting 4+ blocks per game when he was happy the first few weeks of the season, but since his first diatribe he’s not even averaging 2 and his season average is down to 2, that kind production drop on hustle type stats seems pretty quitterish (yes I know quitterish isn’t a word) to me . Instead of blaming Gentry for not knowing how to coach and blaming the other players for not knowing how to pass how about you actually start playing like you give a shit and act like the leader players of your seniority are supposed to be.

  • john

    The players are blaming the coach. The coach is blaming the players. The owner is blaming no one. The GM is getting blasted by the former emcee.

    There’s only one place we can go from here, people. One of the Suns players is going to start dating a Kardashian.

  • DBreezy

    Shannon Brown has Monica but she can’t do the job of a Kardashian. Lamar Odom’s layups look awesome these days.

  • DBreezy

    Interesting that Sarver chose to give a vote of confidence to ESPN’s Broussard. One, it’s interesting that he went with a national guy instead of one the local reporters, but two for the statement it makes. It in no way guarantees that Gentry will be beyond the end of season, but it does send a clear message to those in the locker room griping about Alvin and it seems like a shot at Babby and Blanks to me.

  • Evan

    Gentry must go, his laid back, no structure style worked when Nash and Grant Hill were running things (somewhat) but when you have a bunch of young kids, they need structure. They need a real system.

    That is step 1.

    Step 2 is put everyone except Morris and Dragic on the trading block. Do whatever it takes to get an all star, really it does not matter what position. More than anything trade it all for cap space, hell we will win as many games this season if we have d-league scrubs in as if we have all of these people.

    Gentry has to go though.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Players are instructed to basically get themselves traded by agents all the time. Gortat might be doing that or trying to. If he is, that’s cool. At least he isn’t on First Take going insane on national television.

    One thing keeps coming up in all of these articles and interviews in papers and on television: roster changes.

    You know what? Maybe Gentry has been instructed to do so. Even for him, the changes being made are on an absurd level. Normally, when he is searching for a quintet that works, once he finds it he settles a bit.

    This season, it’s off the charts. Maybe the front office has gone ahead and written this season off in regards to expecting a ‘winning basketball team’ and are really really looking at who really wants to play in Phoenix, who really wants to be out there regardless, and also the viability of Gentry’s interpretation of the D’Antoni offense.

    I, for one, called for a rebuild. I begged for it. So am i frustrated at how this season has gone so far? No. I’m cool with it. This is how a rebuild looks at ground zero. At least we’re not getting blown out by 50 every game.

    It’s painting a clear picture of what’s needed moving forward and that’s a great thing. Scouts and the FO should already know what they’re looking for in the draft and they have all kinds of picks / players to make deals to ensure the can snatch the best-available-position-wise player and throw him out there.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if we started seeing Suns get shipped out via trade either. As a collective they’re competitive at best. But there are guys on this team that other teams would want to solidify a playoff run.

    For now, keep the players with heart. Bassy, PJ, Dragon, even JO is bringing it.

  • Tony

    @Rich,

    you’re absolutely wrong. The FO did not advertise this Suns team as a rebuilding team. To the contrary, even today Babby claimed this year’s team has more talent than last season’s team. Why a freaking former agent is talking basketball as if he knows what he’s talking about is a major part of the Suns problems, but that’s another issue. The point is, the FO continues to advertise this team as one that has the talent to make the playoffs.

    Furthermore, if the Suns FO was really intent on rebuilding, then they would have never brought in Scola and they would have kept Lopez and traded Gortat instead of vice versa. They would have let Morris and Lopez develop their games instead of those veterans taking needed developmental minutes from them. Make no mistake about it, the FO really believed this team full of scrubs had the potential to make the playoffs and they were not counting on rebuilding. The fact that they have alienated Gortat so much that I’m sure he can’t wait to leave this sinking ship likely means once again the Suns won’t get even equal value for his true worth. I’ve seen this all the time-good players on bad teams end up regressing and not caring about being competitive. I guarantee that if Gortat goes to a winning team, his play will dramatically improve.

    In sum, the FO never anticipated this team tanking nor focusing on rebuilding at the expense of making the playoffs. As I mentioned previously, even today Babby reaffirmed his position that he believes this team has more talent than last season’s. These are not the words of someone who truly believes that this team was destined for another lottery pick.

  • Tony

    @Dbreezy,

    I don’t see how you infer that Sarver was taking a shot at Babby and Blanks by his comments today. I think he was just issuing a vote of confidence for Gentry and that there’s really nothing more to read into Sarver’s statements than that.

    Speaking of slamming the FO, it was great to see a former Sun slam Lance Blanks the other day via twitter: Cedric Ceballos ?@cedceballos
    “iF u were a BAD player (bad meaning, can’t play) u will never b a good GM” #nuffced
    9 Dec 12 .

  • john

    Pretty ignorant of Ced, to be honest. Plenty of great GMs haven’t been great players. Whether or not it’s true about Blanks in particular, it’s pretty classless of Ceballos to give an unsolicited slam like that. I think I might have found the position he was aiming for with that promotion he wanted. #stayclassyced

  • bill.thomas

    Maybe UPS would take Brown off our hands as an advertising encomium.

  • bill.thomas

    Brown’s jump shot makes Barkley’s Tee shot look like a thing of beauty, doesn’t it.

  • Melon Man

    Ceballos is right about Lance “2ppg” Blanks. I always refer to blanks in that manner.

    As for Gortat, 11 offensive boards, that’s his total since he ran his mouth the first time to the Polish press. 11 offensive boards in 11 games and in 4 of those games he had no offensive boards whatsoever. In the 11 games prior to his first rant he had 34 offensive boards making for an average of roughly 3 per game.

    The same goes for blocks. In the 11 games since his initial rant he’s had a whopping 11 blocks but in the 11 games prior to the rant he had 33 blocks. An average of 3 blocks per game. Granted the season was young and teams learn about players and make adjustments and whatnot but that seems like quite a dropoff in production.

    To me he started to give up after the first interview and looks to have completely given up after this second one. We’re going to lose to Orlando? Really?

    I wanted to like the Polish Hammer/Gazelle or whatever but this guy is just pure BS. Get him outta here. I don’t care if they bring back Pat Burke to take his spot. Gortat is doing nothing for us besides creating tension.

  • grover

    You have to hold Dragic accountable for the disfunctional locker room as well. I’ve seen plenty of on court jawing and disagreement between players and coaches this year, and the majority of the time one of the parties involved in the finger pointing and public display of disapproval was Dragic. He’s had viable beef with Gortat, Scola, Gentry, Dudley, and Beasely. He has poor body language as well – has the countenance of a bratty child when things go poorly. Dragic is physically playing well, but he is not a good team leader.

    I find much of the criticism of Gentry amusing. The horrible talent level and professionalism of this team makes it extremely difficult to tell how the coach is doing.

    Frankly it’s hard for me to get upset by this team. We knew when the season began they were a +/- 30 win team, so why are we now surprised and angry?

  • bill.thomas

    Maybe we could package Lon Babby and Gortat in a trade.

  • SHAZAM

    @ tony…your quote ——-> “Babby reaffirmed his position that he believes this team has more talent than last season’s. These are not the words of someone who truly believes that this team was destined for another lottery pick.”——–babby is a notorious liar…you have said so yourself on more than one occasion…you shouldnt close an argument with a known liars quote as though he is telling the truth this one time…i agree with your argument though :) …..babby mostly just says what he thinks will get him through the next 5 minutes…truth or fabrications dont enter the thought process.

  • bill.thomas

    @Melon Man: How about Doris Burke?

  • SHAZAM

    i double down on my opinion from last year…instead of trying to realign this gutter of rats known as the suns..rejoice in every loss…we are rebuilding…these are the times that the anti fan is the real fan…its all about draft picks now..instead of critiquing turds on a court…lets just joke and make fun of them…point out plays were they do something stupid and end the comment with HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA LOVE IT

  • Iceman

    @Bill Thomas.

    What good is using a slogan of “Look at Brown deliver 40% of your packages”? Or how about “Brown will send your packages off in traffic, one on five, with 19 seconds left on the clock, whenever.”

    As for Gortat, he showed up in terrible shape this year and was in Gentry’s doghouse during preseason and he’s held a grudge on that. The dude has no hops, doesn’t box out, and only gets rebounds because he’s taller than most other players and spends more time near the hoop. Otherwise the guy is a borderline starter in the NBA, let alone an All Star. He needs to go with Beasley to NO for Gordon when he can be traded to the Suns.

  • bill.thomas

    @Iceman: I’m telling you I would love to pitch UPS for an advertising contract with Brown. I could retire on that.

  • Scott

    ^^^ different scott above ^^^

    Here’s how I see it.

    First, I have no problem with Gortat’s interviews. I think VotS is acting like gossipy little girls about it. Writing that this interview is one “in an increasingly scary trend” is over the top. Who is he, Hannibal Lecter? Charles Manson? Let’s try to avoid hysteria.

    Second, I think Sarver was the one to speak out for Gentry because Babby said, “Do you want me to make a statement to the press about how important Gentry is to our team and our vision of the future?”

    Third, Ced probably posted what he did after talking to other outspoken NBA friends of his, like maybe Barkley. I don’t think he was right in his assessment of GMs, but I think he’s right about Blanks. Blanks is the Nikoloz Tskitishvili of GMs. He can’t even communicate. He makes an average GM like Bryan Colangelo look like a wizard.

    Mr. Sarver, we have very few savants who can’t speak to the public. Einstein could do it, Hawking can do it; make sure your next GM can do it.

    /rant off

  • DBreezy

    @Tony,

    It’s not exactly a secret that the front office is largely in the same predicament as Gentry as far as their contracts and team performance go. IMO Sarver knew what he was saying when he gave a vote of confidence to the coach and his staff while onmiting mention of the front office and it’s personnel. It’s like in the movie ‘Disclosure’ when Metedith thanks all of the department heads she plans on keeping.

  • bill.thomas

    They could just give Blanks a retirement luncheon and a Timex and a Slinky and be done with it

  • Melon Man

    @ different scott

    Why does Gortat only speak openly with the Polish press?

    Not only is the guy a sh*t talker, he doesn’t even have the common decency to do it in English. Gortat is a chump.

  • Tony

    @Scott, (the other Scott ;)

    I couldn’t agree more with you. The very fact that Blanks is uncomfortable speaking publicly with the media is an indication of his inabilty to be effective as a GM. This is because a crucial part of being a successful GM involves recruiting players and one of the ways to do so is by making their presence known and building trust with the media. Blanks is the antithesis of this. He rarely speaks to the media and in those few times that he does, he comes across as totally inept.

    @Grover,

    Because I haven’t focused on Dragic’s interactions with his teammates, I can’t comment on Dragic’s leadership abilities. With that being said, one disconcerting aspect of Dragic’s game I have noticed on several ocassions this season is his lack of assertiveness in clutch moments of ball games. He seems to give the ball up very quickly or hold onto the ball too long and panic. Moreover, he doesn’t look comfortable taking critical shots and those he has taken have been mostly misses.

    However, Dragic is a young player and we have to remember that this is his first full season as a starter and whether he wants to admit it or not, he’s still in Nash’s shadow. This puts extra pressure on him to succeed and I think he’s just not as good as so many Suns fans and commentators believed him to be. In particular, both his playmaking abilit and his individual defense were vastly overrated. How many starting pgs have lit him up this season? It seems like most scoring pgs have done so. And for him to only average 6 assists per game is just way too low.

    @Shazam,

    that’s too funny. You know I have to say, I don’t know which one I dislike more, Sarver or Babby… Sarver is an arrogant, incompetent, and penny-pinching owner, but as far as I can recall, at least he hasn’t shown himself to be a liar. Babby, on the other hand, has repeatedly said one thing and done the exact opposite. I don’t know if he thinks that people will be so focused on his cartoonish voice that they won’t pay attention to what he actually says or if it’s something else; regardless, his propensity for saying one thing and doing another is bush league and not the type of behavior the Suns franchise should condone.

  • Scott

    @Melon Man -

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but his interviews sound to me like normal interviews. Just like what would be given in English to US audiences.

  • Voqar

    Would be nice if Sarver group were to sell the team to someone who gives a crap. One can dream.

    FO has to go.

    Hard to tell with Gentry. What’s he supposed to do with this plater of poo?

    I want Gentry to change the lineups until somebody decides to play. I don’t blame him for keeping people who are playing well in because for this team that’s a rare occurance. When a player isn’t showing up in the first half, sit him. I agree with this. Players don’t just deserve minutes in hopes that they’ll do something productive.

    Players, especially ultra bitch Gortat, have no reason to be whining about rotations or minutes when he’s one of the players who’s so horribly inconsitent that it’s dumb to keep him on the court.

    Either Gortat is completely delusional about himself or his advisors/agents keep him pumped up with lies because he seems to exist in a different basketball reality.

    Earlier in the season Gentry stuck with crappy lineups and let them play themselves into 20 point deficits. The team has been more competitive and generally loses by less with the more erratic lineups and rotations even if players aren’t happy. In fact, they look good at times but like Gentry is saying, they don’t maintain the good play, they toggle from looking great to looking utterly inept.

    If the players want consistent minutes and rotations then it’s pretty simple – play better. Gentry can’t hop on the court and play for you. At some point these babies need to man up and play.

  • Tony

    @Dbreezy,

    I don’t know. I just think that because Sarver is ultimately the boss, and because neither Blanks or Babby has built up any political capital to make it difficult for Sarver to fire them, that there’s no necessity for Sarver to make public comments targeting Babby or Blanks. He can simply fire them and honestly, who would blame him for doing that? In fact, I bet if he did fire them, that his favorability standing with Suns fans would actually temporarily improve.

  • bill.thomas

    Can we all just agree on one thing? He will no longer be called the Polish Hammer. From now on, he is the Polish sausage.

  • Risin Sun

    Gortats comments are confusing,it seems he doesnt want to be here longterm,and perhaps that a good thing as wel,,maybe its translations??

    We need some luck really,like a trade that brings a star/potential star that develops into one here in Phoenix!

    Like the Gordon signing,tat ws then matche by N.O,just need somethings to align and go right for us,,How much would Phil Jackson cost?? lol,,at least that would light a rocket behind the players and encourage free agents to want to come here ;)..Unlikely with Phil i know,but one can dream :)

  • Melon Man

    @ bill

    He’s not even a good polish sausage. He’s like a Bar-S polish sausage. He’s certainly no Stanley’s.

  • SHAZAM

    i was really hoping the polish hermaphrodite would stick

  • DBreezy

    @Tony,

    We’re both just reading tea leaves so we’ll have to see what happens on the thin ice.

  • Serek

    @Shazam, it won’t stcik – hermaphrodite is too long and complicated, isn’t there a simpler English word for it? :)

    Anyway, regarding Gortat, he’s not the only player who gets lots of minutes and fails to make an impact. But he’s the only one speaking his mind.

    As for why he is doing it mostly to the Polish journalists? Maybe because they don’t care about the team, they only care for him, he’s their player. He feels they will support him, which allows him to open up. If he said the same to local reporters, they would cry and nobody wants that.

    Other guys on the team don’t speak their mind (or at all) and don’t have foreign journalists to complain to (except Dragic, who is the focal point of the team and can’t complain).

  • Luka

    This team was advertised as competing for a playoff spot. They might’ve gotten in as a 7th or 8th seed had they snared Gordon from the Hornets.

    As constructed I had them penciled in for about 35 wins, and that’s starting to look generous now.

    The glaring problem, that was evident with this roster in preseason, was poor transition defense. If the Suns want to turn their fortunes around they need to flip Beasley for a quality defensive wing. For a team to take on Beasley, it’s likely going to take a package of: Gortat, Wes Johnson, and a few draft picks.

    The silver lining is the Suns have assembled enough talent where they could craft a quality bench. But since Gentry has been erratic shuffling players around, it almost seems impossible for anyone to gain consistency.

  • Rising Sun

    At least the franchises worst ever season record of 16-66 inthe 1968-69 season you would think wont be broken by this lot,although that was the teams inaugral season,so they may be excused for that.

    The worst seasons after that is the 1987-88 team with a 28-54 record and the 2003-04 team with a record of 29-53……Those marks could be in danger?

    Oh how i miss the glory days already!

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  • Polish_fan

    I read the interview in the original description (didnt read translated one) and i wasnt so confused about it. its not a big deal! did he said something which is not true? once he is 2/3 another 6/8 and later on has 14 attempts or something. its nothing shocking about that. the team is in difficult situation as he personally as his numbers are decreasing. Please stop doing a shocking materials from every interview he gives! 2 days ago You were dissapointed that he said nothing at the press conference. now you are disguisted because he said something ….. Give me a break guys :-) Relax

  • Espeeral

    To be honest I went over this interview 3 times, and it is hard for me to justify the title of this article.
    Troubling interview ? Really ? Well it seems that VOTS found a perfect scapegoat just because of the fact that Gortat is trying to be honest about his situation.

    He admits that he is inconsistent and points to the fact that that lack of stability within the team may be a reason for that. He also says that the only solution he’s got is to work in practice and train. Do you really have such a problem with that ? At no point he bashes the team or the coach. I wonder why no one translated his interviews from last one year and a half, when he was sometimes even to humble and always pointed to his team mate’s successes, not his own.

    In my opinion there must have been some big bust up between him and Gentry couple games within the season. Gortat’s work rate just dropped suddenly, he seems alienated on and off the court, and the coach just refuses to use him in a proper way. He almost sabotages the games in which Gortat is about to go on some kind a good streak. I think that it is obvious for every one to see.

    I will be really surprised if he stays with Suns for the whole season.

    And to read comments from guys like Shazam, Melon Man and Serek the comments about hermaphrodites and polish sausage is really the low point of this blog. Maybe Kevin should try to edit comment sections to keep the idiots away.

    You guys should try to stick with the players a bit longer, and not throw them under the bus at a first occasion. But hey, maybe that is just the American Way. And to be clear – I am not happy the way he is playing at the moment – but the way the coach and some media are handling him at the moment is just disgraceful.

  • john

    @Espeeral

    Those idiotic remarks you refer to are the American version of trolling. That doesn’t make them any less stupid, but I can promise you they’re not going away any time soon.

    As far as Gortat’s interview, I agree with you. This one didn’t really have a Gentry-bashing tone, in my opinion, or even a team-bashing tone. I think that Gortat might have been instructed to keep his criticisms to himself the last time around, regardless of how right he feels he is.

    For Gortat’s sake, I hope he finds his way out of Phoenix soon. It’s not a good situation for him right now. Gentry is doing nothing to play to his strengths, and Gortat is a much better player than he’s allowed to be within this system.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Couldn’t agree more with Gortat and I said similar things on this board myself. Why is everybody upset? Everything he said is true. Nothing was new to us. What’s the big deal?
    Gortat wants to be traded and I can’t blame him for that. He is an excellent center (which he has shown in ORL and PHX), but he has no perspective with this team.

  • Scott

    @Polish_fan and Espeeral -

    I agree. This wailing about Gortat’s interview is much ado about nothing.

    Players are checking out because the coach has not been giving the team their best chance to win, and that’s what the players want.

  • Yohance

    I think it will take quite some time for this team to
    gell, because their is a lot of new parts and this is a young team in my opinion. But I do believe that it maybe time to either explore some trades or getting a new coach. I think something will have to be done to shake things up. With that being said things might still be tough given how our organization is run with our current management. But just by giving the eyeball test I think you have to start.
    Telfair,Dragic,Dudley,Scola and Oneal.
    Bench
    Garrett/Marshall,Brown,Tucker/Wes Johnson, Morris/Beasley,Gortat

    The main reason I don’t think Gortat and Scola mesh well together. But I like Telfair and Dragic backcourt. The coach will need to utilize all the players strengths. primary scoring options should be Dragic and Scola. Then Gortat and Brown
    on the bench. A good coach would also ride the hot hand and get his players to rebound and defend which are two of our biggest weakness. This lame duck Gentry is not working. Let’s call Stan Van Gundy or Jerry Sloan now.

  • Scott

    I should add that if Nash was on this team, about now he’d be calling a player meeting and figuring out what to do, and then he’d have a meeting with Gentry and tell HIM what to do.

  • melon man

    @Espeeral

    So I’m an idiot for writing the comment about Gortats inability to play well for the past 11 games? Or perhaps I’m an idiot for quantifying what kind of sausage Gortat would be if he were a sausage?

    I wouldn’t consider putting together a string of stat based evidence of Gortats weak performance to be trolling but what do I know?

    Fact: Gortat is playing like crap as of late.

  • Scott

    @Yohance -

    I agree that Gentry should start Telfair and Dragic. That’s his best scoring and defensive option for starting guards.

    Start Telfair, Dragic, Dudley, Morris, and Gortat, and make everyone else eligible for the 2nd unit. Tell the 2nd unit to defend like their life depends on it, and that the best defenders will get court time. Find out who the best 2nd unit defenders are, both in practice and in games, and keep playing them.

    On offense, tell the 2nd unit to share the ball and not worry about it. If they’re sharing the ball and defending, that’s fine.

    Do NOT give preferential treatment to players who don’t defend.

    There are a lot of problems with this team, but the number one problem is inconsistent defense. That’s because the coach has been inconsistent about defense. Once he makes defense a priority and the players understand he’s sticking to it, they’ll shape up.

    And if Beasley turns into a six million dollar contract sitting on the bench, well … that’s because he’s earned the right to sit on the bench because of his impenetrable knuckleheadedness, and that is the GM’s not-unforeseen problem, not the team’s.

  • Tony

    Folks,

    there should be no doubt that Gortat is a much better player than he’s shown in the past five games or so. He’s not going to be as good as he was last season simply because he played with the best passer in the game, especially off the pick and roll. But this season, his role in the offense has been relegated to third or fourth option (behind Dragic, Beasley, and sometimes Brown), and considering that none of those players are anything special nor is the team winning with the current strategy, as I said before-I don’t blame Gortat for being unhappy and losing his interest with this team. As a big, his involvement in the offense has to come from the perimeter players, i.e., Dragic, getting him the ball. Now, he’s not a very good offensive post player, we all know that. But he’s a very good roller off of screen-and-rolls. I don’t know if it’s just that Dragic isn’t that good of a passer or the spacing is just so bad that the paint is too clogged to run it more often, but whatever the case, how can Gortat be even half as effective if his main offensive ability is not being utilized?

    So yes, Gortat is struggling now but so are most of his teammates. To make matters worse, unlike the other starters whom Gentry has focused his offense around and play with impugnity regardless of how effective they are, Gortat only gets a few touches each game and if he misses a couple of them, the Suns ignore him the rest of the game.

  • Michael

    I can´t blame Gortat for what he does offensively. For me it´s really hard to understand why the offense doesn´t run through Gortat more often. He´s a reliable 50+% shooter, we don´t have that many on the team.
    On the other hand I really really blame him for his non existing defensive effort. There´s no excuse being that lethargic. He has to put up 10+ rpg, 2+ orpg and 2+ bpg. Should be easy for him. He get´s outplayed by rookies, by average sophomore players and by nearly retired veterans.
    I bet once he´s willing to give some energy to the team, he will be involved more often in the offensive sets again.

    For Dragic, I think he´s doing a good job. Not that high flying all star we have all hoped for, but to be realistic, I couldn´t expect a lot more of him in his first full season as the leading guard.
    He will develope nicely, but how can you set up good numbers with such a crappy team? More than any others the PG is dependant on what the other guys will do on the court. And with Beasley, Brown, Morris and Dudley scoring on a below 40% rate, you can´t put up 10+ assists every given night.
    He has to improve on the defensive end, but that seems a coaching problem anyway on the team, and he has to learn to involve high percentage shooters more into the game (PnR, SnR). But he´s doing fine so far.

    At this point it´s hard to judge any particular part of the franchise for this mess. Starting from Sarver until Kendall everyone seems to underperform. The only one I definetely have to take out is PJ. If the others would work that hard, with that energy, we would be way ahead of the Lamers.

  • Forever is2long

    I said before the season started the Suns traded the wrong center. We should have kept the younger and cheaper Lopez who may be averaging as many points as Gortat and lately he is averaging more blocks. He also is a better defender but not as good a rebounder. We need to trade Gortat before his market value slides even more. He looks terrible. Get him and his whining out of town.

  • Scott

    @melon man -

    I imagine to some extent Gortat has checked out, just like other players. I don’t fault them for it; it’s predictable human nature. They’re waiting for the coach to show proper leadership, and until he does they’re just spinning their wheels.

    The players don’t have a path they can follow that will lead to a win.

  • john

    @Forever is2long

    Lopez wasn’t cheaper. Lopez also required more years. Lopez is also worse. A *completely* disinterested Gortat is still playing at Lopez’s current level, and this is the best Lopez has played in his career. Gortat is good (but he’s obviously not interested in trying for this particular team in this particular season). Lopez is bad (did you see his shot that sailed over the entire hoop against the Suns earlier this season? In that game, Robin Lopez did more to help the Suns win than he ever did while wearing a Suns uniform).

    I’m pretty sure you might want to rethink that “should have kept Lopez” position.

    I’m not saying the Suns should have kept Gortat either. I actually have been advocating a trade ever since his perceived value skyrocketed. I’m a sell-high type of guy. However, having seen a lot of Lopez over the years, I have no doubt whatsoever that he would have been just as terrible as ever if he had stuck to a Suns uniform.