This isn't going to be nearly as thorough as I had originally intended (and maybe that's a good thing since "thorough" is often just another way of saying "excessively verbose"), but here are a few observations now that I finally had the 90 minutes required to watch the entire Suns Media Day video:
- Several players were sporting the "hip-hop" mohawk Amare Stoudemire introduced at the Suns.com newsroom opening in August. Alando Tucker joined in on the fun as well as Leandro Barbosa and Marcus Banks. I've been wondering when Steve Nash will get his done. Maybe he's using the same excuse as Sean Marks: "It wouldn't look good with a receding hairline".
- Both Raja Bell and Leandro Barbosa mentioned their midrange game when asked what they had worked on this summer. Amare Stoudemire took his range the other direction and said he plans to make at least 50 three-pointers this year. Steve Nash was less enthusiastic about the idea: "I hope he doesn't fall in love with the three. Those mitts are too big. We need to get him down by the basket dunking on people." (For the record, I agree with Nash).
- Amare also said he had been working on his ball-handling, as well as his defense, and reiterated his goal (or was it Phil Weber's idea?) to win Most Improved Player this season. When asked about playing for Team USA, he mentioned that Team USA had a good thing going with Mike D'Antoni being a great offensive coach and Mike Krzyzewski being a great defensive coach. Kind of a "best of both worlds" situation. Hmm... I wonder if his team USA experience might inspire Coach K to reconsider a move to the NBA and come join Mike D'Antoni as an assistant?
- Not to make this entire post about Amare, but ever notice how many times he uses the phrase "no doubt about it"? Maybe we should make that our official Bright Side of the Sun slogan. Then again, given our recent discussion on jinxes, maybe that's not such a good idea.
- Some hope for Marcus Banks? At least he and Mike D'Antoni said all the right things, and seemed to be on the same page about what Marcus needs to do to play himself back into the rotation. A hint: It doesn't involve scoring 42 points a game like he did for his lone summer league appearance.
- Leandro on Kobe: "He'd better get ready". Sounds like LB is looking forward to a rematch after that beatdown Team USA put on Leandro's Brazilian team in the FIBA Americas tournament. I hope he feels the same way about Manu Ginobili and crew.
- Mike D'Antoni made it clear the rookies will have to "move someone over" if they want playing time this season. He also joked that Grant Hill could go 48 minutes a game. Hey Coach, how about we meet in the middle?
- In case you missed it, Casey Jacobsen is back in the NBA playing for the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Forget mohawks, maybe they should all grow goatees like the one sported by Brian Skinner. Then again, maybe not. Somehow, that two-tone, three-inch scruffy chin look just doesn't do it for me. On the other hand, I loved what Skinner had to say. I'll forgive him the chin hair if he's half as good on defense as his interview was.
- Not a single hint from anyone that Amare would be undergoing knee surgery the very next day after this was taped. They had to have known by then, right? An Oscar-caliber performance by all involved.
- The quote of the day as far as I'm concerned (though folks in Orlando might disapprove) was Grant Hill's "Being here is like a reward". In fact, that's our new featured quote for the top right sidebar. This guy just seems to exude energy. It's clear how happy he is to be in Phoenix, and how much he's enjoyed being able to work on his game for "the first time since the summer of 1999". It's also obvious he wants to do whatever he can to help this team win a championship. I'm voting Grant as most likely to smack the next guy who grumbles about wanting to play for the Lakers.
- Speaking of guys who want to play for the Lakers, Shawn Marion was nowhere to be found in the video, although there was the previously-mentioned clip on AZCentral. Everyone who was asked about him reiterated the statements that have been already made by Steve Nash, Raja Bell, and Mike D'Antoni: It won't be a distraction, they all want him to stay, and once training camp starts, the focus will be on basketball, not what's been said. Paul Coro's latest blog entry on AZCentral has the best Shawn Marion news we've seen in several days.