marcin-gortat
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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Marcin Gortat vs. Robin Lopez a problem for Suns?

Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn't know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn't know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.

Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.

"This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn't take.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sport is competitive.

Every night teams compete, and every night teammates compete for playing time, touches, and shots, which determines the zeros on their contracts.

The tiff between Phoenix Suns teammates Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez is about as surprising as the current pissing match between Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter.

The Suns weren’t winning, so Lopez and Gortat focused on the starting center position. And it got petty -fast.

Gortat publicly accused Lopez of sabotaging his first day with the Suns by intentionally telling him practice began in the video room when it began on-court.

However, the Polish post was just warming up. He then mocked Lopez for not taking advantage of the opportunity given to him by the Suns.

On the one hand, Gortat is about as wrong as you can get. He can’t call Lopez out to the media for what`s likely a miscommunication.

On the other hand, Gortat is right: Lopez, for whatever reason, hasn’t seized the moment and performed near expectations.

Of course, Gortat vs. Lopez isn’t going anywhere. Both want to start. Both are intense. Neither will back down. 

When the season begins, Coach Alvin Gentry should encourage competition, but can’t let his centers become a distraction like Brenadan Haywood and Etan Thomas with the Washington Wizards.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nash and Hill to follow Carter out of Phoenix?

Suns coach Alvin Gentry inserted center Marcin Gortat and swingman Jared Dudley into the starting lineup, putting Gortat into the spot of Robin Lopez, who had been groomed as a future franchise center, and Dudley in place of guard Vince Carter, who likely won't be with the Suns next season.

Gortat, 27, has received minutes and produced the numbers as if he were a starter and embraces the idea of a bigger role in the future. Sunday was his first start as a Suns center after receiving one previous start at power forward alongside Lopez.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: How the mighty have fallen.

A decade ago, Vince Carter was supposedly the next Michael Jordan. ‘It was over’ when he won the Slam Dunk Contest with the Toronto Raptors. 

Five years ago, Carter was still a perennial All-Star with the New Jersey Nets, running the break and filling the lane alongside Richard Jefferson and Jason Kidd.

Today, he lost his starting spot to Jared Dudley, a very solid but hardly spectacular player for the Phoenix Suns. Carter probably won’t return to the first-five this year.

His timing couldn’t be worse.

Carter’s $15 million per annum contract isn’t guaranteed for 2012, so expect the Suns to exercise the $4 million buyout, making him a not-so desirable free agent.

Heading into training camp, center Robin Lopez was an up-and-comer for the Suns. Coach Alvin Gentry even declared him the team’s second most important player behind Steve Nash.
 
Well, it hasn’t worked out.

Lopez has struggled with his game and emotions. He was recently replaced in the starting line-up by the active Marcin Gortat, who was acquired in the same mid-season trade that brought Carter to Phoenix from the Orlando Magic.

Like Carter, Lopez`s demotion isn’t a short-term thing. Gortat is the man in the middle. For now, and for the foreseeable future.

Change has hit Phoenix. Unfortunately, Carter may not be the only aging starter jettisoned out of Arizona.

Grant Hill and Nash are in their mid-to-late thirties. Unlike Carter, both can still play; however, Phoenix has to rebuild at some point.

And trading Nash and his considerable salary would provide much-needed relief for owner Robert Sarver’s limited resources.

The once mighty Carter and Lopez have fallen. Sadly, the still mighty Hill and Nash could also go this summer.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Mar , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Suns running out of patience with Robin Lopez?

‘That’s probably been the biggest mystery for our team,’ coach Alvin Gentry said when asked why Lopez’s progression has stopped. ‘In actuality, we really thought that he would probably be the second-most-important guy on our team, especially if he took a big leap. I’m not real sure if it’s the injury or what, but he hasn’t been able to give us the consistent play that we thought we’d be able to get from him. We could use it. It’s something that has hurt us a bit. We haven’t really had much inside play. Gortat gives us some. Other than that, we’ve been pretty much resigned to the fact that we’re a perimeter team. That hurts you when you’re going to rely on jump shots night in and night out, even as good of a shooting team as we are.’”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Robin Lopez, for the most part, has been an enigma for the Phoenix Suns.

He has the skill-set to be a solid player; however, his emotions and lack of confidence continue to hold him back.

Coach Alvin Gentry’s recent comments show that the Suns are finally running out of patience. Fortunately, they have a solution on the roster in Marcin Gortat.

The Polish post, acquired from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, does the things Lopez either can’t or won’t.

Gortat is active, physical, and productive. If this continues, he’ll replace Lopez in the Suns’ starting line-up.

And it can’t be soon enough. After all, the Suns, who sit at 10th in the Western Conference, are on the outside looking in at the playoffs.

So everybody must play their best. The Suns have no time for an enigma.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Monday , Mar , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Charge or Block? Should Blake Griffin’s dunk on Marcin Gortat have counted?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What a waste of a poster job!

Yesterday, Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin caught the ball off a pick-and-roll, elevated, and dunked on the Phoenix Suns’ Gortat, who, to his credit, was bravely providing help defense.

Hold off on the youtube clip.

The referees believed Gortat was set, so they called a charging foul on Griffin. The infraction was the Rookie of the Year candidate’s sixth, meaning he had fouled out the game.

Worst of all, it negated a facial of epic proportion.

To be fair, the play happened quickly; however, the zebras in black-and white missed that Gortat’s feet were inside the circle.

Translation: Gortat should’ve been called for a block, and Griffin’s highlight reel jam should’ve counted.

What do you think? Charge or block? Watch the clip and get at us in the comment box below with thoughts!   
 

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Dec , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Jason Richardson: ‘The trade didn’t catch me off guard’

"The trade didn't catch me off guard at all. I knew when they wouldn't talk about an extension that I wasn't going to be there the whole season,'' Richardson said before the Magic played the San Antonio Spurs. "They wouldn't even sit down and talk to us. I kind of figured when they were dodging calls from my agent, something was going to happen.''

Richardson, who is making $14 million this season, was pushing hard for the extension in Phoenix, preferring to avoid free agency this summer. He was riding a strong playoff performance last spring and a fast start this season, knowing his stock would never be higher.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Such is life with the Phoenix Suns and Robert Sarver.

Sarver is the thrifty owner of the Suns. And he’s become even more of an Uncle Scrooge since his banking and real estate holding were decimated by the economic meltdown.

Most of the Suns’ movable big tickets –like Richardson’s expiring $14 million contract – get moved.

Richardson, despite being the team’s leading scorer, wasn’t getting re-signed. Especially since the trade with Orlando allowed the club to escape the final three years and $35 million remaining on Hedo Turkoglu’s pact. 

Credit the Suns, who were dealing from a position of weakness, for getting back value from Orlando. For instance, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus are talented two-way players.

Gortat and second-year post Robin Lopez will form a nice one-two punch in the middle, while Pietrus and veteran Grant Hill give the Suns a pair of shutdown swings.

It’s no surprise Richardson was traded. It’s a surprise the Suns got so much for him.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Dec , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Magic trade Carter to Suns for Turkoglu and J-Rich

The Orlando Magic, already in serious trade talks with the Washington Wizards about acquiring Gilbert Arenas, have agreed to a deal in principle with the Phoenix Suns, according to league sources.

The trade returns former Magic star Hedo Turkoglu, along with Jason Richardson and Earl Clark, to Orlando in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 first-round pick and cash considerations.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Like Wu-Tang Clan said, ‘cash rules everything around me’.

No doubt about it, cash is a major part of the reported swap between the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. The Suns don’t have any cash. While the Magic do.

Phoenix owner Robert Sarver lacks resources. His banking and real estate holdings were hard hit by the economic recession. He wants to keep his beloved Suns, but only if he can run the club on the cheap.

Vince Carter has only one year guaranteed on his $17 million per annum contract, which will provide the thrifty Suns with financial flexibility. Mickael Pietrus is a useful swing; Marcin Gortat offers muscle down-low.

Best of all, the Suns are out from under the remaining four years and $40 million of Hedo Turkuglo’s pact.

The Magic, on the other hand, have resources. After dropping five of six games, the club is prepared to shake up its roster. Money doesn’t matter.

The Magic will welcome back Turkoglu and assume his big ticket, especially if they do the expected and send forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.

Jason Richardson’s skill and expiring $14 million contract will also be a fit in Disney World. 

Look for these sorts of trades to continue in the polarized NBA. The haves like Orlando will spend. The have-nots like Phoenix will cut salary.

--Oly Sandor.


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All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes
Saturday , Apr , 17 , 2010 Oly Sandor

All or nothing: Cavaliers, Lakers, and Magic must win NBA Title or face major changes

The Quick Hit: For the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Orlando Magic, it’s all or nothing.

The all is having Commissioner David Stern hand over the Larry O’Brien trophy in two months and pronounce them world champions in a champagne soaked ceremony.

Only the all will do. Only the all will satisfy their demanding fan base. Only the all will satisfy their demanding owners, who have taken on multi-million dollar luxury tax payments for this precise moment.

While nothing, or falling short of an NBA Title, will force Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando to make wholesale changes this off-season. Right or wrong, fair or not, these are the stakes when playing for a contender.

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