Just this week, Goran Dragic announced his intentions to once again play for the Slovenian National Basketball Team, as reported/translated in an article right here on Bright Side of the Sun.
This came as somewhat of a surprise, especially considering the amount of nagging injuries that plagued Gogi this season, and limited not only his minutes but also his effectiveness down the stretch.
In addition, Dragic initially indicated that he planned on simply resting and rehabbing this offseason, and wouldn't be playing competitively. However, after about a month he had a change of heart and announced his intentions to once again compete this summer.
So what do the Suns think about his decision?
Fortunately, our own Dave King was on top of it and was able to speak to Phoenix Suns team president Lon Babby about the matter.
BSOTS Exclusive Interview With Lon Babby (From Dave King)
Regarding Dragic Playing for the Slovenian National Team this summer:
Lon: "We try to accommodate him. I think, obviously you've got to be a little bit concerned that we want him to get enough rest. But it's so important to him and to his country, that if he wants to do it then we'll support him. We'll try to see if there are ways to mitigate the degree to which he is participating...we're working on some of that stuff now and we'll see how it turns out. But if Goran wants to play and feels that he owes it to his country to do that then we'll support him. All things being equal it would be better if he were resting all year, but that's not the way life works."
Dave: "Isn't that one of the things you like so much about Goran is how loyal he is?"
Lon: " Yeah, he's loyal and just loves to play and loves to work. It's very important to him...It's tremendously important to his country and to his fellow citizens, and I think he enjoys playing so we'll see if we can mitigate it a little bit so it's not quite as arduous."
In addition, Suns GM Ryan McDonough issued a statement about the matter during one of the recent Suns draft workouts as well.
Ryan McDonough on Dragic
"If he wants to play then we're happy for him to play...put it that way. He had the best year of his career last year, after having come right off the European championships. So, if that's what he feels like he has to do to get ready to play then we support him. It's a great honor to play for your country. We want to be strategic and selective about how many exhibition games he plays in, and his practice schedule to make sure his body is preserved for the year. But at the end of the day it's his call, and we support him 100%."
As is fairly evident from the quotes...the Suns front office would almost certainly prefer that he took the summer off in order to fully rest and recover. However, it is also obvious that they fully support his decision to play, and understand that his loyalty to his country and his team, and his drive to compete are the very same characteristics that make him such a special player here in Phoenix as well.