PHOENIX - We know Marcin Gortat goes by the nickname "Polish Hammer." Thing is, less than a month into the season, we didn't realize that Gortat would be swinging the proverbial hammer.
"It is what it is," Gortat said on Tuesday. "I'm just going to work on it."
That's what Gortat told the Phoenix media in response to what he told a Polish publication:
"Unfortunately... I've been doing the dirty work all my life, and now I have to come back to that. I will fight for what's mine. I'll try to prove to the coach that I can play an important role in the offense. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm even an option for Gentry. He doesn't even take me into consideration. The situation is critical. We're playing the same thing we've been playing last year, but the truth is we have a completely different set of players. I don't think it really works. I can't get frustrated now though, I have to stay positive."
Having lost four of their past five games, let's see here, what's the last thing the Suns need right now? Well, a team leader calling out his teammates and head coach is right up there.
During Suns training camp, when Gortat joked that he was in such good shape that he wanted to be called the "Polish Gazelle"… hey, that was harmless, funny stuff that filled the reporter notebooks.
Then when Gortat shared that he desires to wear Steve Nash's old jersey number (#13), uh, well, that seemed strange and ill-timed, at best.
But now, we have Gortat popping off in the Polish press -- and wait, there's more:
"We have plenty of players who like to create for themselves, but it doesn't always work. We don't share the ball as much as we have in previous seasons. The ball doesn't move around the perimeter — it usually stops after one or two passes. You can't play like this, let alone win. Basketball is a team sport. Nobody ever won a game alone."
That said, please allow Paulie Roundball (uh, me) to now translate the translation: when Coach Gentry says "we will make a change" to the Suns starting lineup in time for Wednesday's game against the Trail Blazers – that's code for: "the Polish Hammer will be left on the (work) bench."
The Suns are coming off a loss to Miami on Saturday, when they fell to the Heat even as the team was coming off their fifth straight game in seven nights, and did not have Dwayne Wade or LeBron James.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, are riding a three-game win streak after coming out on top over the Bulls.
Portland and Phoenix face off at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Fox Sports Arizona.