BOSTON -- With the trade deadline approaching next month and big men in demand, Celtics fans have expressed their desire to see Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat in green and white this season.
But even after the Suns fell to 12-25 following an 87-79 loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, Gortat said he is not looking to force his way off his struggling team.
"Basically I just don't want to feel like a loser and escape," he told CSNNE.com. "The team needs you and then all of a sudden you escape because you said you wanted to be traded or you asked for a trade? It's not like that.
"If someone's going to decide to trade me, it is a business. I'll understand that. But now I'm on the Phoenix Suns and I'm going to help."
At 6-11, Gortat is averaging 11.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. While he turned down a multiyear contract extension in October, according to the Arizona Republic, he said he will not demand to be moved. His contract expires after the 2013-14 season.
"Right now I feel like it's hard to leave this sinking boat, you know what I mean, just go to a different team and escape from everything," he said. "I started with this team in training camp. I've been here for three years right now. This is my third year and basically I'm trying to help this team, help this team as much as I can. That's the main goal, but I learned also that this is business. Whatever's going to happen is going to happen."
Gortat said his parents taught him not to run from his problems growing up in Poland.
"I've never escaped in my entire life from anything like that," he said. "I never took any shortcuts. Basically I'm just going to try to play and help my team as much as I can."
Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall.
Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns.
Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made.
"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.
"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."
Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way.
As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.