The 2019-20 Phoenix Suns season kicks off tomorrow with the annual Media Day, where the local media (and sometimes, but not often, national media) gather to meet the new Phoenix Suns roster for the very first time after a summer of drafting, signing and trading frenzy.
On Monday, there will only be four players — Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Elie Okobo — who were here a year ago at last year’s Media Day. That means fifteen players will be walking around the Suns practice court in their Suns uniforms for the first time at such an event.
Even considering the end of season roster, only those four plus Kelly Oubre Jr. and Tyler Johnson have even worn a Suns jersey in a game situation.
Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of new information to hear. The coaching staff is all new. There are two new starters — Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric — and whole new bench to meet.
Bright Side will have Brendon Kleen, Evan Sidery and myself in attendance for the Monday event, so stay tuned for wall-to-wall coverage right here on Bright Side.
In the mean time, let’s take a walk down memory lane to Media Days past. Former regular contributor Sean Sullivan (7footer) joined me for at least three of these days since 2013. He and I reminisce on our favorite memories.
- Funniest memory from Media Day
Sean: Funniest memory in my opinion had to have been after the Suns traded Marcus Morris in the off-season (2016), and then asked Markieff to hold a bouquet of flowers for a media day photo shoot...and yes, Keef was just about as thrilled as you would imagine.
Dave: For me, it was standing between Sean and rookie Dragan Bender for a picture that made me look like a hobbit by comparison. I’m a full 6’0” tall, btw.
- Best interview you ever did and why
Sean: At media day, I think my favorite interview was with Dragan Bender. He was extremely young and seemed nervous, but was also very open and honest in his answers. He also seemed like he genuinely enjoyed talking to everyone, which isn’t always the case.
Dave: My best interviews were with Lon Babby. Each year, Lon gave me 10-15 minutes of his time to discuss off season moves and the thinking behind roster building and trades. Lon’s ideas didn’t always work out, but he always shared how he came to those decisions. And that’s rare in this business. My second-best interview was with Marcin Gortat in 2013 when he was a full participant in Media Day and training camp even though he was ready and waiting to be traded. He was so honest and open about the situation that it was entirely refreshing.
- Worst interview you ever did and why
Sean: Markieff Morris...after the bouquet picture. Nuff said.
Dave: Any of them with T.J. Warren. T.J. was always so painfully awkward in social setting that he mumbled his answers and relied on too many cliches just to get through the 2-3 minutes till he could walk away.
- Your hottest take from Media Day (i.e. you KNEW this would happen and it did)
Sean: When the Suns first signed Gerald Green...I talked to him about what he would bring to the team with his style of play and athleticism. I believed it would make the team a lot more entertaining and fun to watch...it did...at least for one season.
Dave: That Michael Beasley had zero interest in banging inside for rebounds. He and I had a side talk that fall of 2012, where Beasley clearly conveyed how much he just wanted to take 20-footers all season and not be that power forward we had hoped for.
- Your coldest take from Media Day (i.e. you KNEW this would happen but it very much did not)
Sean: Alex Len would dominate the post in his sophomore season! Swing and a miss...
Dave: That Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss would both become viable NBA players. I liked interviewing both of them for different reasons.
- Other great memory(ies) from Media Day
Sean: Actually, my fondest memories involve hanging out with, and talking with fellow Suns media, reporters, and bloggers. Oh, and the food!
Dave: ditto. So fun to catch up with all the Suns media after four months away. It’s also usually nice to see returning coaches and staffers, though this year that will be less of a thing.
Solar Panel with Paul Coro
Now let’s take an even deeper look back at Media Days with former Suns beat writer Paul Coro and former Suns employee and digital/social guy Greg Esposito. Paul did 13 years of time all the way through the SSOL years and into the Blanks and McDonough time as well. Greg did five years of time that overlapped with Coro’s last five.
Tim is a great host as Paul, Greg and I reminisce about media days and training camps gone by.