A big reason for that, perhaps the biggest reason, is the offseason acquisition of point guard Ricky Rubio.
Most NBA fans know of Rubio’s NBA journey. He was one of the most touted international prospects in quite sometime. Spain to Minnesota. Minnesota to Utah. Utah to Phoenix.
What many may not know is the struggles that Rubio has had to endure throughout his professional career. The passing of Flip Saunders, and losing his mother, Tona Vives, in 2016.
Rubio told his story, via The Players’ Tribune, and it will make you appreciate a little bit more the guy we have running point in Phoenix.
When someone you love dies, it’s like a fog wraps around you. That’s how it was for me. I felt so directionless. Every year, when I would go back to Minnesota for training camp, I’d begin every day the same way: FaceTiming Mama. The first season after she died, I would wake up and think about calling her. It made me want to break my phone. But I couldn’t delete her number. I even sent her text messages sometimes. I still do. For a while, I felt like I was losing my mind — like I was talking to myself.
It’s moving stuff. It’s a story worth your time.
If you’re interested in giving to Rubio’s foundation, which supports cancer research as well has serving underprivileged and disabled youth, you can do so here.