Gortat says he, Morris are ‘Phoenix Outlaws’
When he is not rolling to the paint, tapping back offensive rebounds or earning praise as one of the best screeners in the NBA, Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat is coming up with new nicknames. He can’t help it. He already calls himself the “Polish Hammer” and “Polish Machine,” but apparently that’s not enough.
Following the Wizards’ 112-107 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, Gortat spoke to CSN’s Chris Miller and unveiled a new moniker for himself and teammate Markieff Morris.
“We are the Phoenix Outlaws right now,” Gortat said, using his tried-and-true formula of heritage/city + noun = moniker. “We are the Phoenix Outlaws, me and Keef.”
Gortat, who finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds against the Pacers, created a formidable frontcourt with Morris, who scored a season-high 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting while pulling down 10 rebounds. Before tip-off, Pacers Coach Nate McMillan credited Gortat as a screening maestro; after the game, McMillan spoke of Gortat’s physicality in the paint against Indiana’s bigs. McMillan also described Morris as having a “solid game.”
So on such a night when both were rolling, Gortat decided to troll his past.
Gortat played two-plus seasons in Phoenix before he and the team reached an impasse on a contract negotiation. Before the 2013-14 season, the Suns shipped Gortat to Washington. Then last February, the Suns jettisoned Morris, who had lost trust in the franchise after it traded his twin brother, Marcus.
This history remains on Gortat’s mind. When you give him a microphone — or a Twitter app — he will find an opportunity to zing his former employer.
When asked by a reporter what he saw in Morris’s performance against the Pacers, Gortat subtly made reference to the Suns.
“I see a guy with incredible talent, with [a] very good work ethic,” Gortat said. “He’s a great, great teammate. A guy who has been called one time a cancer, a team cancer. And I would love to have a team cancer like that any day in a game with me. He came here, and he’s taking us to the playoffs right now.”
Though Gorat might be all-in with the whole Phoenix Outlaws thing, he hasn’t exactly sold his fellow outlaw on the new nickname.
“Yeah, he said it about three times, but I ain’t rolling with it,” Morris said. “I don’t want to give Phoenix no credit. I’ll figure out a better nickname than that.”