There is good and bad to the bright lights of the NBA Finals — even for a relatively unknown backup center like Marcin Gortat of the Orlando Magic.
Gortat, in just second NBA season, and the only player in the league from Poland, becomes a restricted free agent this summer. He has helped himself immensely with consistent performances during this playoff run, attracting attention from other teams around the league.
He also received an uncomfortable phone call last weekend from Reebok, with whom he has a shoe contract. Representatives of the company were not happy to see a picture of him from Game 1 in a Polish newspaper that prominently displayed his Michael Jordan/Nike logo tattoo on his lower right leg.
Reebok asked him either to wear higher socks tonight to cover up the tattoo, or to apply makeup so it will not be noticed through the rest of the NBA Finals.
“I’ve been wearing it 4-5 years now, and it helped me get to the NBA,” said Gortat. “They didn’t say anything about it when I signed the contract, so it’s not going anywhere. I don’t think they are paying me enough to take it off.”