Veteran center Marcin Gortat returned to the Capital One Arena for the first time since being traded when the Los Angeles Clippers faced his former team, Washington Wizards, on Tuesday night. Despite only having 15 minutes of action, Gortat still posted nine points, seven rebounds, and one steal on 57.1 percent shooting from the field. Unfortunately, the Clippers failed to protect a 24-point lead and gave the Wizards the victory.
In a post-game interview, Marcin Gortat talked about what it feels like playing against the team where he spent the last five seasons. Gortat was one of the key players in Washington where he helped them make four appearances in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Gortat admitted that he felt weird and emotional being on the Wizards’ opposing team’s bench, but he needed to keep his focus on helping the Clippers win the game, which didn’t happen on Tuesday night.
“Well, obviously a very emotional moment,” Gortat said of his return, via NBC Sports Washington. “Bottom line is that we came here to get a win. Unfortunately, we lost today. It was great to be here.”
Marcin Gortat was also asked about the ongoing drama in Washington where his former superstar teammates John Wall and Bradley Beal are involved. Gortat said that the Wizards’ dysfunction only proved that he’s not the real “cancer” in their locker room.
“Listen, the way I was traded out of that team, it looked like I was the cancer of the locker room,” Gortat said. “I think that thing was verified and it was complete [expletive]. It is what it is now.”
During a practice session, John Wall reportedly had an altercation with Jeff Green. When Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks tried to fix the issue, Wall told him “f*** you.” Before he was traded to the Clippers, Marcin Gortat also had a heated exchange of words with the All-Star point guard. The 34-year-old center may not have directly said it, but it’s crystal clear who is the real “cancer” in the Wizards’ locker room.
Despite their past issues, Marcin Gortat made it clear that there is no bad blood between he and John Wall. The veteran center revealed that he spoke with Wall after the game and they wished each other good luck and to remain healthy throughout the season.
While the Clippers remain as a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference, Gortat’s former team is currently on the verge of a huge roster shakeup. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that the Wizards have already made every player on their roster, including John Wall and Bradley Beal, available in trade discussions.