"Mentally I am ready to announce the end of my sports career, there are new challenges ahead of me," Marcin Gortat, presumably the best Polish basketball player in history told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
In the interview for PAP, he said he was aware that his return to the NBA basketball court was hardly realistic, as something terrible, such as the injury of one of the athletes playing in his position would have to happen to make his return possible.
Marcin Gortat has achieved sports and financial success, which now allow him to fulfil himself in various fields. Among others, he launched the "Aim High" project, which has already received many awards for its activity, including the "Heart for Sport" statuette won during the 85th Poland’s Best Athlete of the Year gala.
Mr Gortat has also organised the event "Polish Night at NBA" eight times, when he promoted his homeland and culture before the start of the selected NBA match.
Recently, he became the ambassador of the eWinner bookmaker. His new role is not only to help fans in broadening their knowledge about the NBA, but also to be a basketball pundit, commentator and even a referee, all through social media. This activity also aims to support local, amateur basketball environments.
From February 7, 2019, he remains a free agent after the board of Los Angeles Clippers did not offer him a new contract. During 13 seasons in the NBA, he appeared in 806 matches in regular competitions, scoring an average of 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds, and in 86 games in the play off phase, grabbing an average 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds.
He played in the Polish national team in 2004-2015, ending his career after Eurobasket in France in 2015.
He considers his greatest success to be achieving his current status on and away from the NBA floor, starting as a newcomer from Poland, where basketball is a relatively niche sports discipline.
“Many things and people I met on my way contributed to my success. Today I am recognisable in the country by three quarters of Poles, for which I thank them sincerely," he said.