“It’s time to end my career,” Gortat told TVP Info (h/t EuroHoops). “I think this is the moment when the year has passed—as I said at the beginning, I give myself a year [off] to see what life will bring me – and it brought me to this decision, that I am going to retire, I’m finishing my professional playing.”
The 35-year-old center spent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers before being released last February. He averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds.
While his points total was his lowest since he left Orlando, Gortat remained efficient and started 43 games for the Clippers. The team waived him upon acquiring Ivica Zubac from the Lakers at the deadline.
Gortat openly talked about retirement following the 2018-19 season.
"The way NBA politics goes right now, I’m afraid that next year might be my last year," Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins in January 2018. "This is how I feel right now. Obviously, we’re going to have a summer, then another year of basketball and then I’m going to think about it. But the way I feel right now, it’s like next year might be my last year of my career.”
Gortat said then he wanted to return to the Orlando Magic for a spell to end his career. The big man spent his first three-and-a-half seasons in Orlando before being traded to the Phoenix Suns. He spent the bulk of his career with the Washington Wizards but left the team under bad circumstances, particularly with star John Wall.
After his release from the Clippers, Gortat did not see much interest on the open market. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Lakers had a level of interest after DeMarcus Cousins' ACL tear in August, but they signed Dwight Howard.
Gortat finishes his career with averages of 9.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.