Long-time NBA center Marcin Gortat has revealed how close he came to signing with the Golden State Warriors at the end his career, believing the franchise lied to him and potentially cost him a championship.
After being selected with the 57th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Gortat enjoyed a 13-year career with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers.
Marcin Gortat believes the Golden State Warriors lied and cost him an opportunity to win the 2019 NBA championship
Gortat's career came to an end when he was waived by the Clippers in February 2019, though that wasn't the final chapter to play out according to the Polish international.
In a recent interview with HoopsHype, Gortat revealed his regret at pursuing a role with the Warriors rather than the Toronto Raptors in the wake of his departure from the Clippers.
"I wish that after I was waived by the Clippers, I had gone to the Toronto Raptors. They called me six times, and I didn’t go. I could have been an NBA champion today. Instead, I decided to go to Golden State, and they lied to me. They said, ‘No, no, no, we don’t need a big. We’re gonna take this small guy. You gotta take an additional guard.’ And two or three weeks later, they signed Andrew Bogut from the Australian league. That hurt."- Marcin Gortat
Bogut's signing in March 2019 was an odd one, having played an entire season back in Australia with the Sydney Kings. Still, few can blame Golden State for wanting the known commodity in Bogut who had previously played four seasons with the franchise between 2012 and 2016.
The Warriors and Raptors would go on to meet in the 2019 NBA Finals, with Toronto prevailing in six games after significant long-term injuries to key Golden State pair Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
While hindsight would suggest Gortat could have been playing for either of the Finalists, he instead remained unsigned and would eventually call time on his career in February 2020.
Gortat's recollections are another example of how brutal the NBA can be. Without a guaranteed contract in place, players are at the mercy of the goalposts shifting and front office executives changing their stance.