• Marcin Gortat was an effective big man for the Washington Wizards from 2013-2018
  • He played the pick and roll well with John Wall
  • He says he regrets the disagreements he had with Wall

The Washington Wizards had one of their best stretches in recent times when John Wall was healthy. John Wall has been the team’s franchise player since he came into the league as the number one overall pick. He along with Bradley Beal was a phenomenal tandem before Wall got hurt. Wall has been out of action since the 2018-2019 season.

But before that, he was leading his team into playoff runs while winning the Southeast Division in the 2016-2017 campaign. One major part of their success back then was because of their big man Marcin Gortat. The Polish big man was an excellent screen setter for Wall that opened up the possibilities for his distributing options. Wall constantly averaged double figures in assists mainly to how effective he ran the pick and roll with Gortat.

The two, however, had their moments of disagreement. Gortat was traded to the LA Clippers he eventually retired. Per NBC Sports, Gortat recalled how much he enjoyed his time with the 5-time NBA All-Star. "Playing with John was extremely great. I wish I could sacrifice more time to be a better leader back then, during the fourth and fifth year in the locker room,” he said.

Gortat was a member of the Wizards in 2013 coming off a stellar stint with the Phoenix Suns. He stayed with Washington until the 2017-2018 campaign. “Now I can just say 'I wish.' But again, five years was extremely great and amazing to me," Gortat said.

The Polish Hammer spent his final year with the Clippers as a veteran of the squad. One of the point guards he worked with was a young Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. “I learned in L.A. really quick that not having John on the team, having a 19-year-old point guard is not the same thing," he recalled.

Wall is one of the best guards in the NBA and is making progress in his return. He’s only played 32 games in the year he sustained his season-ending heel injury. He’s now recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon when he slipped in his home.

The Wizards are ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 23-40 record. Bradley Beal has been carrying the offensive load for the interim as the league awaits Wall’s return. Beal has been averaging 30 points a game and has had numerous occasions of 50-point outings.

Marcin Gortat
Marcin Gortat was selected in the second round by the Phoenix Suns in the 2005 NBA draft. Getty Images