Marcin Gortat is under contract with the Wizards through next season and as of now he's not thinking much further ahead than that. An 11-year NBA veteran, Gortat was asked this week what he plans to do when his basketball career is over, as he turns 34 next month. Gortat isn't sure yet.
"It's still too far. It's still too early to say something. It's still a year and a half before I run out of the contract. At that point, everything could change. You don't know how my life is going to go," he said.
At the rate Gortat is going, he should have options to continue playing in the NBA once his time with the Wizards is up. He is a starter on a team likely headed to the playoffs and is averaging 8.1 rebounds per game. We're only talking about a year-and-a-half from now.
But if Gortat is to keep playing, he has personal standards to uphold.
"One thing I will tell you is that I'm not going to be the person that is going to push for another year, another year, another year just to chip in with a million or two million to my budget because my body is more important to me than another million or two million," he said.
"I have too much respect for the game to sit down there on the bench and just pretend like I'm on the team when I'm actually not. I might stay in the league, but only under the condition that I will be playing."
Gortat has shown no signs of slowing down physically. He has appeared in all 41 of the Wizards games this season after playing in all 82 last year. Though his 27.2 minutes per game are his fewest since the 2010-11 season, it's not by his choice. He prides himself in being able to stay on the court and carry a heavy workload.
Gortat said he hopes to live another 50-60 years when his playing days are done. He will have plenty of opportunities off the court either in the United States or his home country of Poland. He could join the coaching ranks, focus on business or something else. Given his stature in Poland, it would not be surprising if he entered politics.
Gortat, though, noted that his next step could be to start a family. He currently does not have kids and is not married.
"One chapter is ending at some point, another chapter starts after that," he said. "Maybe family, maybe kid one day. And then at some point, if women tell you 'hey, I need you to stay at home with the kid,' happy wife... happy life. You've gotta do that."
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