Movie Buff Marcin Gortat Embodies '300' Spartan as Pregame Ritual

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2014

Jan 24, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat reacts in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the Washington Wizards advancing to the second round of the postseason, Marcin Gortat is on his way to a bigger stage, where he'll be able to show off his power game around the rim.

Behind the scenes, his teammates have had front-row seats to a different kind of performance. Prior to games, Gortat channels his inner Gerard Butler and screams lines from the movie 300, according to The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg.

Here's the exchange between Steinberg and Washington's modern Leonidas:

"Do you say something from 300 before games sometimes?" I asked Gortat.

"Hell yes," Gortat responded.

"What do you say?" I asked.

"PREPARE. FOR. GLORY!" Gortat responded, in a very theatrical and loud voice.

"Before a game?" I asked.

"Always," Gortat said."When we’re running out, I’ll say from 300 'This is Sparta!' or 'Prepare for glory!' [or] 'Give them nothing but take everything!'"

This is the same guy who's said he wants hockey-style fights in the middle of NBA games. And the one who did this to an unsuspecting towel:

What do you call a Wizard who's also a warrior? Any LARPers out there? Because whatever that character is called, that's Gortat.

He appears to be something of a connoisseur of action, as Steinberg relates that he also quotes GladiatorBad Boys 2 and Training Day. Wizards guard Garrett Temple shared a story on that last one:

The part in Training Day where Denzel says—excuse my language here, I’m quoting a movie—‘King Kong ain’t got [nothing] on me.’ Marc, he kind of messed it up. He said ‘King Kong ain’t [nothinged] on me.’ So we clown him about that now, and so he jokes about it now. Now he says ‘King Kong just [nothinged] on y’all.’ Marc is a character, man.

The funny streak could have something to do with movies, too. He likes his fair share of comedy as well, and even thinks Zach Galifianakis should play him in a movie called The Polish Gazelle. Fast-forward to the 1:59 mark of the video to hear Gortat's thoughts:

You better believe I'd be there on opening night for that or any movie this film buff may be in at some point.

In the meantime, Gortat's Wizards are still fighting for an NBA championship. And the 6'11" Wizard/warrior, Polish Gazelle, whatever you want to call him, has at least four more chances to use his unique motivational tactics.


Andy Bailey covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.