It's been a long summer, Suns fans. We know it, the coaches know it, the players know it.
We are finally emerging from the eclipse and ready to start a new Phoenix Suns season on Monday with Media Day, followed immediately by the players heading up to Flagstaff for a week of training camp.
For the first time all summer, all contract players will be on hand and ready to make it right.
Before we start the fresh news cycle, let's take the time to clear out Dave's notebook of quotes that haven't been used yet. You may recognize some, but not most of them. They were given at various press conferences in July (Chandler, Knight) and at the jersey reveal in late August.
You've seen all the major quotes already. These are the leftovers that, when taken out of the fridge and reheated, still taste pretty darn good.
Coach Jeff Hornacek
On Chandler's talking: "Tyson's been the defensive anchor for all these teams that he's played on. Won a championship. He knows how to play the game. He knows how to protect his teammates. How to talk to his teammates. Our biggest problem probably last year (defensively) is we didn't have a lot of guys that talk. Tyson'll be the director back there. He'll tell our guys what defense we're in, what the rotation is."
On Chandler's influence: "He's just a veteran guy. You know, all the little things. He's seen everything. And that where's it really gonna be a big help for our team, to show these young guys different situations and be able to talk them through on the court. As coaches, we can do preparation. On the court, we can be yelling things out. But when the players and teammates are talking to each other on the court, that's what makes a team good."
On Alex Len: "Alex is a sponge. He wants to learn everything, that's why he's on Synergy all the time. That's why he's in the gym since the season ended working on his stuff. When he gets with Tyson, I think Alex is excited about it. He knows he can become better. He's 22 years old. All the little vet tricks that Tyson pulled on him over these last couple of years, Alex is gonna love learning."
On whether he was disappointed the Suns didn't get Aldridge: "I wouldn't say disappointment. That's free agency. When I made my decision, I made my decision solely on myself and looking at the roster and seeing what I can do for this team and this organization. There wasn't much disappointment. I felt and understood what I can bring to this team, and I still believe it."
On the Suns roster construction: "With the way the west is moving. Very guard oriented. The pace of the game. Wings that are very aggressive and can score all over the floor. I felt like Phoenix has that, and has it in young guys, which I saw myself growing with. That was one of the main attractions. With the style of pace, and the way they play the game, I felt like I could come in and put those little things that were needed to get over the hump."
On Alex Len: "It's very exciting for me. Since day one, that's huge on my priority list, making (Len) the best player he can be and helping him along the way. We'll both benefit from it. I'll benefit from going against him every day in practice and vice versa."
GM Ryan McDonough
On team building: "We're bringing in some more veteran players, more talented veteran players to go with our young guys. And the model involves some veteran guys starting and playing the majority of the minutes and then the young guys learning from them. The thought process is as time goes on, you try to have a winning team every year, you try to get into the playoffs and try to compete for a championship every year. And then at some point, the older players their level falls off and they're not what they once were the young guys have developed and are ready to step right in. That's what the good teams and good organizations do."
On whether the on-court yelling at coach Hornacek played a part in the Marcus Morris trade: "I think it was a small factor, but I think that incident was made to be bigger than we thought it was. We thought it was a heat of the moment thing. You see it happen in football on the sideline. You see it happen in baseball in the dugout and you see it happen sometimes in basketball on the sideline. Those kind of things happen. So it wasn't that one incident. I feel bad for the twins, especially Markieff. I feel like a lot of the off court things, the technicals, the things with the refs last season really overshadowed his play. I thought he played very well for us."
On Markieff Morris: "He's a big part of our team, he had a terrific year last year. If he keeps doing what he's doing on the court, and tones down some of the things with the refs and off the court and all that, people will realize just how good of a player he is and how well-rounded he is. We think he'll be able to take his game to the next level."
On the ankle problems last spring: "I didn't think surgery was really an option (during the second half of the season). It just took longer to heal than usual. When I looked at the scans again, I realized it needed to be cleaned out for me to play the way I want to play."
On not playing the free agent market: "[The Suns] welcomed me with open arms, showed how much they wanted me. That's a big reason I wanted to commit so early in the process. I just really knew, after being here a couple of months, where my heart was at. I love everything. It kind of made my decision to get it done quickly a ‘no brainer'."
Two weeks ago, at the jersey reveal, on his ankle: "I feel some discomfort. All the motion isn't completely there yet. I got to work on it over the next couple weeks or so trying to get that back to normal."
On who he was closest with at Kentucky: "My fellow freshman, Tyler Ulis."
On so many one-and-done Kentucky guards on the Suns roster: "It just happened that way. There's so much time difference between us, I didn't really know any of them. But just knowing that they went to Kentucky, knowing that they went through the same thing that you did, it helps out a lot."
On the goofiest guy on the team: "I'd have to say P.J."