Marcin Gortat Calls Suns Teammates Weak and Lacking in Character

As one of the most frank and outspoken Phoenix Suns players, it’s not entirely surprising that Marcin Gortat ripped his team after their hellish campaign came to an end (at 25-57, it’s the worst Suns season in 44 years.) Gortat called his squad “weak” and questioned the character of some of his younger teammates. Per the AZ Republic and PBT: “We are missing character,’ Gortat said. ‘We are missing just strong minds in the team. We are just weak, mentally weak basically. We just need more talent. We need more athletic, energetic guys and people who want to compete and fight.’ […] ‘But like I said, that’s a 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.’ Gortat was pressed on the character issue, and essentially said that there was a segment of the team that didn’t seem to care whether they won or lost. ‘At the end of the day, it’s all about the player,’ he said. ‘If you don’t feel that you’ve got to work, if you feel comfortable that somebody’s coming into your house and punking your ass by 30 points every night, it’s not right. It’s just not right. I’ve been in the league six years now and I’ve never been in a situation like that … I tried at least to approach a few younger players during the season,’ he said. ‘I don’t think I had the impact. I don’t think as a player, a six-year veteran, I have that impact yet. Definitely Jermaine O’Neal was the guy that was trying to convince a lot of the young guys to perform better. But I’ve got to tell you, when I was making it in the league, I was listening. I was listening and I had a lot of great veterans, I had a lot of great strong-minded people on the team. If I had tried to act like a smart-ass, or I tried to pretend like I know everything or understand everything, I’d get slapped in the head automatically, and [Stan Van Gundy in Orlando] would bring me back to earth. Like I said, I grew up in a great system. These young guys, there’s a lot of young guys who just think they’re better than they really are.'”