Media Day has come and gone and I’m all kinds of excited for this NBA season.
And it seems the Phoenix Suns are too.
Of course, all the key words were said. Youth with maturity. Focus on defense. Spread the floor.
But the vibe around the team just seemed a little more genuine, and humble if that’s the right word.
The feeling is that Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza will bring that “sweat equity” to the team where they can practice what they preach as both will be regular rotation players, if not starters around the yutes at shooting guard and center.
We shall see how it all shakes out this year, but I just really feel like it’s going to get better. I mean, it has to right?
Here are some quotes that stood out to me today.
Some Deandre Ayton quotes:
- (on Joel Embiid’s comments recent ass-kicking comments) “I cant really say anything. I haven’t put the ball in the hoop yet.”
- “They take this hoop life very serious. This is really a job.”
- “Taking care of your body can help you down the line.”
- (on being a center in the NBA and not a power forward like he was in college) “I see why now. There’s a lot of big guys, great shooters. I got to be down low, I got to be the main guy. It falls in place.”
- “We all have one common goal.”
- (a great answer on how you balance sharing what worked for Houston versus what’s worked in Phoenix in the past) “What’s worked?”... long pause... “Nah I’m just playin”
- “When you are able to look at yourself in the mirror and say alright nothing has worked, so it’s time to change, I think you have to do that and be honest with yourself.”
- (next step for Josh Jackson) “Josh was in a weird situation. Not really a lot of player guidance. Being around veteran players, being around older players, will help him a lot.”
- (on Mikal Bridges wanting a career like Trevor Ariza someday) “Wow. That’s very humbling. I’m appreciative of that. He definitely has all the tools to do that.”
First of all, he really really wants to play in the opening game. He’s a week away from getting his brace off, and will start using his right hand again at that time.
He talked about it swelling up when he started playing physical again after being away all summer. It hadn’t swelled because he hadn’t been playing live, contact basketball since the end of the season and even well before that.
- (on the season) “I’m really excited. I feel like we’ve hit that turning point.”
- (on unicycles) “I’m a fan of unicycles. I can’t ride. I’ve never been on one, but I’d definitely like to try some day.”
- (on the injury) “Now I’m actually getting real work in with my left hand. Not just shooting, but passing, pick and roll, with all those shooters.”
- (on Deandre Ayton) “His ability to learn, his willingness to learn. He’s willing to get better, and work hard.”
- (on what Ariza brings to the team) “He played a whole day of pickup and didn’t score a point, and that didn’t bother him at all. It’s not all about scoring.”
- “It was a process this summer, at exit interviews. At the end of the season we had a great conversation that led up to a very quick two-day process of a trade. I’m very happy about it. Very happy to be here.”
- (on Deandre Ayton) “He’s so skilled. Fundamentally, physically.”
- (more on Ayton) “Honestly, everything stood out to me. He’s just very impressive. His fundamentals are there. It’s scary how talented he is.”
- “A lot of times I could yes and it’s not true, just to give you the right answer. But it’s absolutely 100% true. Me and Trevor, this summer, we talked almost once a day. Trevor’s a great friend of mine. We live close to each other in the offseason in Los Angeles. He’s just a great guy, a real genuine person who cares who wants to build this organization and lead these young guys. We’ve had tons of conversations this summer about that, and what we can bring.”
- “This is the beautiful thing for me. I’m really happy to be here. We’re building a culture of winning, a future with this group. I’m happy to be a part of that. I just want to help in the best way I can.”
Stay tuned for more from the Bright Side staff!