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Marcin Gortat talks about why he hated Brian Hill so much

Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat recently made an essay for The Players’ Tribune where he shared his story on how he ended up in his current place. He narrated the time when he was growing up in his home country, when he learned to love soccer and also the time he first played professional basketball.

It was not an easy road Gortat had to go through to make his way to the U.S. and eventually play in the NBA. It took him several trips and Summer League stints before he was able to crack a roster spot with the Orlando Magic. One of the surprising things he revealed in his article was how much he hated the team’s former head coach, Brian Hill.

“I hated Brian Hill so much. Now, Hill is a broadcaster for the Magic, but in 2005 he was the head coach, and I thought he really had it in for me. I played in summer league for the first time in 2005, and afterwards, Coach Hill told me I needed to go back to Europe. I was disappointed. The next summer, I thought for sure I was going to make the roster. I had had a really good year in Germany, and did great in summer league. But again, Coach Hill cut me. I was devastated. I thought I was never going to make the NBA.”

The 32-year-old also made it clear that he does not hold any grudge against Hill and that his former coach even did him a favor when he sent him back to Europe to hone his game further.

“Brian and I are totally cool now, by the way. A few years ago, I told him how much I hated him for keeping me off the team. I expected him to be defensive, but he surprised me. He said the player I am now is completely different than the one he sent back to Europe. He was right. I obviously didn’t think so at the time, but now I realize that Coach Hill did me a favor those first two years. He forced me to improve every aspect of my game, to get stronger, to push myself harder than I ever had before. As much as I believed in myself, I still had to wait for the right moment — my moment.”

Gortat learned about the NBA’s grind during his days with the Magic and applied his learnings when he got traded to the Phoenix Suns back in the 2010-2011 season. Now with a prominent role for the Wizards, he will have Brian Hill to thank for paving the way and enabling him to become the player he is today.

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