Marcin Gortat regrets leaving John Wall, Wizards for Clippers
To recall, Gortat spent five seasons (including four playoff appearances) donning the Wizards jersey where he was the team’s starting center. Those years in Washington are one of the most fruitful seasons of his career. But as he looked back on it, he wishes he could’ve maximized his opportunity by doing more.
“Playing with John was extremely great. I wish I could sacrifice more time to be a better leader back then, during the fourth and fifth year in the locker room. Now I can just say ‘I wish.’ But again, five years was extremely great and amazing to me,” Gortat said, speaking to NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller on the ‘Wizards Talk’ podcast.
This thought dawned upon him when played alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who was a promising rookie guard back then with the Los Angeles Clippers. Gortat implied that he had a hard time co-existing with Alexander since the young guard is primarily a scorer. This made him miss Wall more, who averages 9.2 assists per game for his career with the Wizards.
“You’ve gotta appreciate what you have. You appreciate what you have once you actually lose that. I was appreciating John even more when I went to the Clippers and I had a young point guard, Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], who is an extremely great point guard in this league. But he is a natural-born scorer, he’s not a passer. I learned in L.A. really quick that not having John on the team, having a 19-year-old point guard is not the same thing,” Gortat said.
Marcin Gortat announced his retirement from basketball in February. The NBA veteran, formerly of the Wizards, is continuing to come to terms with the end of a career and everything that means.