The illustrious career of Marcin Gortat has come to an end, the most successful Pole to ever play in the NBA. He officially announced his retirement in an interview with TVP Info on Sunday.
“The time to retire has come. I would like to thank all the fans for watching me, for supporting me, because it was always very important for me and I felt really good then,” he said.
He pointed out that after his 17 year career he has begun to suffer from fatigue syndrome, “some sort of burning out” with regards to basketball training.
Marcin Gortat stated that he had been receiving offers from NBA and other leagues, but they were not satisfying for him as a player. That also pushed him closer to taking the decision to step off the floor.
Recently, Mr Gortat has been involved in various activities outside sport, including charity and promoting Polish culture in the US.
Marcin Gortat was the third Pole in the best basketball league in the world. However, unlike his predecessors: Cezary Trybański and Maciej Lampe, who only had short spells in the NBA, he achieved incomparably greater success, playing for Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.
Over the span of 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. From February 7, 2019, he was a free agent after the board of Los Angeles Clippers did not offer him a new contract.
He played in the Polish national team in 2004-2015, ending his career after Eurobasket in France in 2015.
Gortat 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 back in January.