Thank you and goodnight! Basketball legend Marcin ‘The Hammer’ Gortat retires from NBA

After 12 years playing in the NBA, Marcin Gortat has decided to retire. MIKE THEILER/PAP/EPA

Polish star of America’s world-class NBA basketball league Marcin Gortat has announced his retirement from the sport two days before his 36th birthday.

The Łodz-born star spent 12 years playing in the NBA.

The Łodz-born star nicknamed the Polish Hammer was the third Polish player to make the NBA. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Since February 7, 2019, Gortat had been looking for a new contract, having been let go by his former club, the Los Angeles Clippers.

During the 2018/19 season at the club he enjoyed pay of over 13.5 million dollars. Unable to find a suitable replacement deal, Gortat resigned himself to his fate several weeks ago, telling PAP at the time: “I realise that the kind of offer I’m waiting for will practically not happen.

Never the most elegant of players, the two-metre-eleven tall Pole won the admiration of basketball fans the world over for his no-nonsense, scrappy style of play that defied fashion but delivered results.TANNEN MAURY/PAP/EPA

“Mentally I am ready for the announcement: it’s over. I’m waiting for the right time.”

The son of Olympic boxer Janusz Gortat, Marcin Gortat was the third Polish player to make the NBA after Cezary Trybański and Maciej Lampe.

While with the Phoenix Suns, Gortat averaged 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the best of his three seasons with the team, the statistics of an elite NBA centre. Keith Allison/Creative Commons

Nicknamed the ‘Polish Hammer,’ Gortat achieved both sporting and financial success.

In 2014, he signed a five-year contract for USD 60 million. His total fortune for playing in the NBA amounted to USD 95 million.

During his time with the Washington Wizards, fans dubbed him the Polish Hammer.Keith Allison/Creative Commons

In the course of 13 seasons, he appeared in 806 games scoring an average of 9.9 pts and 7.9 rebounds as well as in 86 play-offs (8.7 and 6.3). In 2009, he achieved the NBA runners’ up place with Orlando Magic. 

He made his NBA debut on March 1, 2008, with the Orlando Suns and later played for the Phoenix Suns (2010-2013), Washington Wizards (2013-2018) and the Clippers (2018-2019).

Gortat’s total fortune for playing in the NBA amounted to USD 95 million.Keith Allison/Creative Commons

But his career started in the central Polish city of Łódź in 2002. He started late as an 18-year-old having earlier played football.

He soon left for Germany where he played for four years for RheinEnergie Cologne under the watchful eye of Serbian trainer Sasha Obradovic.

Today his main project is the ‘Measure High’ foundation which among other activities organizes a one-day training camp for talented players, as well as the Gortat Team – Polish Army match. Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

Although he played for the Polish national team (2004-2015), he never achieved success.

He competed in three European Championships – in 2009, 2013 and 2015 – and ended his career in European basketball in 2015 in France, losing to eventual champions Spain 66:80.

In the course of 13 seasons, he appeared in 806 games scoring an average of 9.9 pts and 7.9 rebounds as well as in 86 play-offs (8.7 and 6.3). In 2009, he achieved the NBA runners’ up place with Orlando Magic. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Today in Poland his main project is the ‘Measure High’ foundation which among other activities organizes a one-day training camp for talented players, as well as the Gortat Team – Polish Army match.

The foundation also works with four sports schools, in Łódź, Kraków, Poznań and Gdańsk.