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Video/quotes: Deandre Ayton shows added focus at Suns’ Media Day

Normally playful, Ayton was succinct and concentrated on Monday

NBA: Playoffs-Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what Phoenix Suns starting center Deandre Ayton said at the team’s Media Day on Monday morning.

On signing his four-year, $133 million offer sheet in restricted free agency and his reaction when the Suns matched the sheet from the Indiana Pacers:

“I was happy. It was all done, I guess.”

On what struck him most about the findings of the investigation into Suns owner Robert Sarver:

“I would say I was disappointed. That was very unacceptable. That’s about it. My thoughts are with the people who were affected by it.”

“At the end of the day, the action is unacceptable. Me just being from here doesn’t mean anything. My thoughts go out to all the people that seen it and were affected by it.”

On the Suns’ decision to separate with and look for a for Jae Crowder:

“I’m so locked in and just getting better and starting training camp. Jae’s my guy and I know he’s doing what’s best for him.”

On the range of emotions he felt during his restricted free agency:

“I was under a rock just working. I was just leaving all that in my agent’s hands and I trusted my team.”

On moving forward from that point:

“Yeah. I mean, why look back? I don’t want to take no steps back. I just want to move forward.”

On what he’s been working on this offseason:

“Everything. I’ve been working on everything. I’m just trying to be the most dominant person right now. And I feel like I can do that.”

More on his free agency and the next steps:

“Just getting better and winning. Backing it up, just continue to win and just be a part of the league when it just comes to winning and being that big piece.”

If he felt like his contract situation was a weight on his shoulder last season:

“No weight, no pressure. Just trying to do the best I can to do what my task is and I let the rest take place. I just trust my team and do what they have to do and put me in the situation where I am now.”

On what Suns fans can expect from him this season:

“Just relentlessness. Just being that player I always wanted to be ever since I got drafted. I wouldn’t say there’s no pressure coming off of me. It’s just, I finally feel like I’m older now and it’s no more taking baby steps. It’s just going out and taking what’s yours.”

If going through the business side of basketball changed his approach:

“I approach the game like this all the time. I’ve always had that professionalism in me. Never get too high, never get too low. And at the end of the day, it’s business. I don’t take my personal feelings in this thing. You have a team that you trust that can handle all that stuff while you just work on your game to better yourself.”

On how he took care of his mental health this offseason:

“I have a son. Always managing my patience with him, and being in the gym. I have a team that I trust, I let them deal with the stress levels. And I hold up my end of the bargain on the court.”

If he still reflects on the Suns’ Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 Western Conference semifinals:

“Sometimes. I rewatch the games and there’s a lot. It was a lot going on. That was the outcome of it and everything just discombobulated a little bit.”

On the most challenging part of the offseason:

“Just me being prepared. Making sure I’m in shape like now and just bringing that energy. My mental focus, I think that will set the town and everybody should follow.”

On his emotions for the upcoming season:

“Just being around the guys and the fellas. All of us being in the gym, playing against each other and just feeling the energy and the environment. Still the same. Nothing has changed, we’re a lot older to now to where there’s no baby steps. We know the task at hand, so there’s really not much talk.”

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