The Phoenix Suns won just 25 games this past season, so it stands to reason that they were missing quite a bit.
But what they lacked was, apparently, not always evident in the box score.
“We are missing character, we are missing just strong minds in the team,” Suns center Marcin Gortat said Thursday after cleaning out his locker. “We are just weak, mentally weak basically.”
Gortat, who missed the team’s final 21 games with a foot injury, averaged 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game for the team. Never one to mince words, he added that the team needs more talent and more athleticism.
“People that want to compete and fight,” he said. “That’s it, that’s the most important thing.
“That’s the decision to make by the people in the front office; I’m just going to look at myself and try to correct my mistakes and try to be better next year.”
And Gortat, admittedly, could do better. Saying he had his own issues “with a lot of different things that didn’t involve basketball,” the 29-year-old thinks he was just starting to figure things out before the injury.
“Unfortunately the injury was the biggest thing in the season,” he said.
Gortat has one year left on a very reasonable contract, and it’s possible the team will look to trade him. But that’s not for the player to concern himself with, really. All Gortat wants to do — all he can do — is try to get healthy and be ready to go next season.
“I’m going to focus on myself, first of all, to become a better player and better leader, and hopefully next year I’m going to perform better.”