PHOENIX – New Suns big man Marcin Gortat is very excited about his move from the Sunshine State to the Valley of the Sun. He is looking forward to turning that enthusiasm into success on the court.
“I just know about one team that wanted me,” he said. “It was Phoenix. So I’m glad I’m here. I’m just going to try to pay back. Play defense and do the things they want me to do. Try to win as many games as possible. Make sure the fans are going to be proud of me, proud of the team and try to win. Play hard is the most important thing.”
The 6-foot-11 center, known as the “Polish Hammer,” is looking forward to teaming up with former MVP Steve Nash. He thinks the two can make a dynamic pair, especially when it comes to running the pick and roll. Formerly the team’s bread and butter, the Suns have struggled with the play since the departure of Amar’e Stoudemire.
“I’m excited,” Gortat said. “That’s just big. It’s awesome to play with a hall-of-famer on the pick and roll. It’s better to play with one than guard one. It’s pretty amazing. I’ve talked to Steve a couple of times. I don’t think we played one pick and roll [in practice] but I’m pretty sure he’s going to take care of me.”
It’s not just Nash that Gortat thinks he’ll fit in with. He also sees himself getting along quite well with Robin Lopez, even with both players’ natural position being center.
“He’s a good teammate,” Gortat said. “He helped me out a lot the last couple of days. I’m just appreciative of everything he’s doing. If you have two seven-foot guys in the paint that will be tremendous. You’ve got guys like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade driving to the paint, they’ve got to think about us. We’re not skinny little kids standing over there. You’ve got two big guys. It’ll be something on defense for us. It’ll be a big wall to cross.”
Despite liking his new teammates, Gortat admits it will take time to build chemistry.
“With time we should be better,” he said. “If everybody is going to keep working as hard as we were working [Wednesday], I’m pretty confident we’re going to get better pretty soon.”
Gortat’s first chance to build chemistry on the court with his new team comes Thursday when the Miami Heat come to town, with tip off set for 8:30 p.m. on Sports 620 KTAR.