Magic’s Gortat honors Polish president
Orlando Magic center Marcin Gortat had more important issues on
his mind Sunday than basketball.
The native of Poland paid tribute to his homeland’s president,
who was killed along with 95 others in a plane crash in Russia.
Gortat wrote the number of the fatal flight on his sneakers before
the Magic played the Cleveland Cavaliers and wrote President Lech
Kaczynski’s name on the tape around his wrist.
“It’s very sad,” Gortat said. “There were a lot of people
putting our country on the right path to become one of the
strongest and most powerful countries in Europe. Obviously, we pray
Kaczynski and dozens of political, military and religious
leaders were killed in the crash. They were traveling to Russia to
honor 22,000 Polish officers slain by the Soviet secret police in
Gortat’s father, Janusz, is a retired Army officer who knew
Kaczynski before he became president in 2005. Gortat, who learned
of the crash through multiple text messages from family and friends
in Poland, said he knew “two or three” of the dignitaries who
“It’s a tough loss for all of us,” he said.