Basketball-NBA should pass rule requiring players to cut their nails, says Gortat

FILE PHOTO: Feb 23, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) battles Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) for the ball during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - Former NBA center Marcin Gortat said the league should pass a rule governing the length of players' finger nails, recalling his duels with former team mate Dwight Howard who left the Pole "bleeding in every practice".

The pair played together at Orlando Magic from 2007-2010 before Gortat, who retired in 2020, signed with the Phoenix Suns ahead of his Washington Wizards move in 2013.

"Covering Dwight in the game was a different story than covering him in practice. There were practices where I almost punched him in the face," Gortat told HoopsHype.

"I was bleeding in every practice, man. Every practice, my lip, my teeth, my hands were scratched. I still have all the scratches, everything from Dwight, my chest - everything. I mean, he never cut his nails."

Gortat, 39, added that the NBA should consider requiring players to trim their nails.

"There should be a rule about it. It's bad, not from a cosmetic standpoint of whether your nails look good or not. I'm talking about the health aspect," the Pole said.

"How many times you cut into skin, how many times you're shaving the skin because, obviously, you're swiping for the ball, but it's like you're trying to scratch people's hands, and you end up shaving off their skin.

"You know how many times I get hit in the face and get cut on the body? Yeah, I agree. There should be a rule, but you've got to cut the nails."

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)

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