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Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:54

Thunderbirds Shrug Off Goot Comments

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Pioneers forward Noah Gutierrez hadn't been heard from for a while after he was traded away from Arizona to Indiana two season ago. But after returning to Arizona with the Pioneers to play his former team, he had some choice words to say about the Thunderbirds star guard, Mark Marble, who shrugged off Gutierrez's comments. "Man, he's just trying to stay relevant at this point," Marble said of the exchange. "He knows his time in the league is up so he's trying to get as much attention as he can." Marble went on to say he thinks Gutierrez is still upset Marble replaced him after the trade. "He's just mad they wanted to move on and bring in young, new talent. He's old and washed up." Marble added one last jab, "Have fun riding the pine in Kansas City, bro."

Thunderbirds GM Nick Simpson wasn't offended by Gutierrez's profane words towards him. "Goot will always be a legend here in Arizona. He helped bring this state three titles." Simpson did confirm Gutierrez was not happy with the trade. "Is he mad we traded him? Sure. Who wouldn't be?" Simpson said. "But at the end of the day, I know he understands this is a business and tough decisions had to be made and will continue to be made."

However, when Simpson was asked if he ever thinks he will stop hearing detractors say he was handed a team on a silver platter, Simpson became more animated. "I think some people are still upset we beat them so they have to make excuses - one being that our team that year was destined to win the championship on talent alone," Simpson said in an agitated voice. He continued: "But, what these guys forget is that we weren't the favorites. Hell, we didn't even win our division that year. The Pioneers had the best team. But guess what? We went into their house in a Game 7 and outplayed them. So, they can say whatever the hell they want. They just look like sore losers to me."

Former teammate, Harry White, was also asked about Gutierrez's actions but he declined to say anything bad about his former star running-mate. "That's just Goot being Goot," White told reporters. "That's what I loved about him as a teammate and why everyone hates going against him." When asked to compare Marble versus Gutierrez, White responded, "They're two different players. Goot was more physical and could wear you down on both ends of the court. Mark is more athletic and just about impossible to stop when he's in the zone."

One reporter asked White to compare current Thunderbirds GM Nick Simpson and former Thunderbirds and current Pioneers GM Ben Johnson, since White played for championship teams for both GMs. "They had different styles, but both worked and we have the championships to prove it. That's all that matters to me." What would have happened if Johnson would have stayed instead of bolting to Kansas City? White paused for a moment and then said, "Nobody will know. But, I know if I were him I would have stayed. I'm sure he probably regrets it a little bit and wonders what would have happened had he stayed. Don't get me wrong...he's had a lot of success in (Kansas City), but he can't seem to win the big games when it matters most there. I'm sure the Game 7 loss to us really hurt."


Maybe all the "what ifs" can't be answered, but we are fairly certain the next time these two teams meet there won't be any handshakes or fist bumps between Marble and Gutierrez. The Thunderbirds travel to Kansas City on December 8th.

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