In case you’re unaware, there have been some stories the past few years about talented NBA players not wanting to play for the Phoenix Suns. There have also been some stories about players leaving and saying some unkind things about the franchise on the way out.
But it turns out that with enough money, Phoenix can be an attractive place to play professional basketball.
My personal negativity aside, negativity the organization has gone to great lengths to cultivate the last several seasons mind you, the news that Devin Booker inked a five-year $158 million deal to stay in Phoenix is fantastic news. The tide is turning for the Suns, and locking up a guy who is a guarantee to go to multiple All-Star games starting in the very near future should reinvigorate fans. This week Book talked about his new contract and the direction of the Suns at NBA Summer League in magnificent Las Vegas, Nevada.
On his reaction:
“I honestly don’t think it’s even hit me yet. I’m just blessed enough to be in this situation where I can take care of my family and my family’s family for a long time.
“It’s kind of emotional but it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve worked really hard for it and made a lot of sacrifices to get to this point. Seeing it pay off to this extent is unbelievable.”
On his mom:
“That woman has done so much for me in my life. We don’t even need to talk about it. It’s understood between me and her. Now to be in this situation, to be able to take care of her, it’s bigger than basketball.”
On the Phoenix Suns organization:
“It shows a lot. Like I said Phoenix, the entire organization has been behind me since day one, starting with the draft. For a team to draft you and take a chance on you means they believe in you. Robert Sarver and Ryan McDonough, I think those guys truly believe in me and it showed with the contract.”
On money = pressure:
“I feel that anyway, honestly. Every year I feel like that pressure has grown on me. People are finding out what type of player I am so I have to deal with different kinds of defenses. That’s my job to figure it out and conquer that.”
On playing with Deandre Ayton
“Obviously he’s getting doubled now in Summer League but that’s not going to happen during the season. They can’t do that when I’m on the floor.”
On adding Trevor Ariza and Mikal Bridges:
“You see Houston, you see Golden State, it’s about spacing and shooting. That’s what the NBA is turning towards and we’re going to have a lot of guys out there who can shoot and space the floor. It’s going to open up a lot of things.”
On the direction of the Suns:
“I think we all feel it. We all see, the top pick with Deandre, the way Josh has been playing and whole new coaching staff so I think we’re ready to take that jump. We’re no longer using young as an excuse.”
“Talking about it makes me even more excited. I’m ready to get out there and start winning some games.”