Gortat Admits His Hunger Faded
With basketball a seemingly year-round obligation for Marcin Gortat, the Suns starting center naturally expects to encounter some resistance from his body.
He definitely thought that would be the case this season after competing for Poland last summer in tournament play to help the country qualify for EuroBasket 2013.
But instead of struggling physically with the wear-and-tear of a grueling schedule, it’s his mental fuel that’s been sapped.
“I think I lost the hunger of the game,” Gortat said. “I wasn’t hungry enough to go and get it just like I used to do. I definitely felt that.”
The Suns concluded a five-game homestand on Wednesday with their fourth straight win — a stretch helped by Gortat. He averaged 11.2 points and 10 rebounds during the five games and has 11 blocks during the winning streak.
It’s still not production that meets Gortat’s standards, but it’s an improvement from an uneven November that saw Gortat have a season-high night against the Bobcats (23 points) and a season-low effort against the Jazz (one point).
“I have a feeling like I’m getting there,” he said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m 100 percent back. I’ll be back if I’m constantly going to start getting minimum 10 (points) and 10 (rebounds). Right now, it doesn’t look like it.
“I was in a big black hole. I ain’t gonna lie. There was just a bad stretch of games where I didn’t perform at all, and I didn’t know the reason. But I’m obviously trying to play better. Hopefully, I’m going to continue to play like that. That’s the only thing I can do, just keep fighting every day and work hard.”