Team Talk With Garrett Temple: Q&A from Gortat's Camp in Poland | Wizards Blog Truth About

Team Talk With Garrett Temple: Q&A from Gortat’s Camp in Poland

Updated: July 2, 2016

Bartosz Bielecki, TAI’s Polish correspondent, recently covered Marcin Gortat’s annual summer basketball camps in Poland. He caught up with swingman Garrett Temple in Kraków, at the final camp in this year’s set. This interview below was originally posted on the Polish website Szósty Gracz.

Follow Bart on Twitter: @bart__92.


Bartosz Bielecki: What went wrong in Washington last season? You can’t say “injuries.”

Garrett Temple: We had a new team, new players, a lot of new, moving parts. Defensively, we didn’t play like we usually do. We focused on offense a lot at the beginning of the season. I think defense fell by the wayside, we didn’t talk about defense as much, and, because of that, we weren’t able to play great defense. Teams scored too much and beat us.

Were you too tired to play good defense, after playing fast on offense?

Temple: Maybe, we might have been tired. But I don’t think it was us being tired, we just didn’t focus and have as much attention to detail, in terms of knowing exactly what we wanted to do on the defensive end. We switched up a lot throughout the season, and there was no consistency.

You started this season as the third shooting guard on the team, behind Bradley Beal and Gary Neal, but once again, you moved up to the starting lineup after injuries to those players.

How hard is it to step into that role, and, after your career season, do you expect a better contract, in terms of not only money but also playing time?

Temple: First of all, who said I was— Obviously behind Bradley, but nobody said I was behind Gary. Nobody told me I was behind him. It’s the media that say that. You all see that, and say that. I go into it thinking I’m fighting for the backup spot. No one knows. The media always think they know what coaches think, but they don’t know.

I’ve started more than 100 games in my career, so it’s not anything. I feel comfortable starting, coming off the bench, no matter what. I feel like I showed this season I can produce when I start, so hopefully I showed that I’m worth a little more than the minimum contract.   

How positive are you that you’ll stay with the Wizards next season?

Temple: I don’t know. I’m not “positive,” because no one knows. It’s a business—owners have to run their business, players have to take care about their own business. I will go with whoever likes me, whoever wants me the most. I would love to be in D.C., because I’ve been there for four years. The Wizards gave me my first real home in the NBA, but if it’s not the case, then I wish them success, because I really appreciate what they did.

If I do go back to the Wizards, I’d be very happy. I love Coach Scott Brooks. I think he will be great for the team. We have a great future.

Have you spoken to coach Brooks, already?

Temple: Yeah, I talked to him around early May. We talked for 15-20 minutes over the phone. We had a good conversation.

In your exit interview, you said you were a mentor to Kelly Oubre. What can you say about his development, and do you think he will make his way into the rotation this upcoming season?

Temple: He’s developed great. He has a very professional mindset. He’s starting to understand the game a little better. In terms of the rotation, it all depends on they sign in the offseason. If they add a starting small forward, or another big-time small forward…

…Like Kevin Durant?

Temple: Like Kevin Durant. Then Otto Porter, I’m assuming, will be the backup. You never know what happens in free agency. I think Kelly has enough skill and talent to be in the rotation in the NBA next year. I definitely believe that.

Do you consider yourself the best defensive player on the team?

Temple: I pride myself on being one of the best defensive players in the league.

How did Marcin talk you into coming to Poland for his camps? Did you speak to Otto Porter and Jared Dudley before making your decision?

Temple: Marcin asked me last year, but I could not come, because I had promised Bradley Beal I’d celebrate his birthday with him. I told Marcin I would come this year, so Otto came instead last year. I talked with Otto and Jared, and they told me it was amazing, and then I came. Me and Marcin talked about it all season, I told him I was in from the beginning. I’m glad I came, this has been an amazing experience.

Were you surprised in any way by Poland as a country?

Temple: I was surprised that the food was very good, and that so many kids like basketball. I didn’t think the camps would have this many kids in each city. I thought it would be, maybe, 70 kids per camp, but it’s twice that many. And the women are very pretty.


Bartosz Bielecki on Twitter
Bartosz Bielecki
Polish Correspondent at TAI
Bart is TAI’s Polish correspondent, covering all things Marcin Gortat from the mother country, including transcribing Gortat interviews with Polish media.