Changes all across the Phoenix Suns’ basketball operations seem on the horizon. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, former Suns executive and new Pelicans GM David Griffin has received permission to speak with head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson.
Nelson, who also carries the official title of Vice President of Athlete Care, has been the leader of Phoenix’s famous training staff mafia for 19 years. They were innovative and ahead of the curve over the last decade-plus, but surprisingly injuries have ravaged the roster over the last few years.
ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz mentioned on The Lowe Post Podcast Wednesday that Phoenix is considering fully overhauling every aspect of their program on all levels, including the training staff being replaced for the first time under Robert Sarver’s ownership. With today’s report from Stein, this seems to confirm the Suns’ openness to changing things up.
Nelson became the Suns’ head athletic trainer in 2000 when Joe Proski stepped down after the season ended, and he’s been an employee of the Suns since 1993 as their lead training assistant. Losing Nelson, who’s been in the building for the last 25 years, would be a blow, but it likely means Phoenix is ready to reset level zero of their organization.
The connection between Griffin and Nelson runs deep. Griffin begin with the Suns as an intern the same year Nelson joined as the assistant trainer. For 17 years straight, Griffin and Nelson saw each other and interacted on a daily basis before leaving for Cleveland in 2010.
Stay tuned to BSOTS as we’ll continue to update you on what changes occur during an all-important offseason in Phoenix.