The Phoenix Suns held a media day at Talking Stick Resort Arena, we got a close look at the team for the first time all together in one room. One room that featured podiums and photo booths to do the team and individual pictures.
Each of the players came down from the locker room and spoke with the hundreds of media awaiting the first look at the new team.
Number one pick Deandre Ayton came out in a very professional mode, giving mature answers to questions regarding his so-called feud with Philadelphia Sixers center Joel Embid.
Embid had some comments that in my opinion were taken out of context and it was refreshing to see a young guy in Ayton not fall for the bait. Ayton’s reply to the comments was simply “I haven’t put the ball in the hoop one time yet, so I can’t really say anything”.
Devin Booker showed out his new fashion statement wrist wrap from the recent surgery from an injured right hand. Of course, the media first question was about the hand and Devin says he is trying to get back for the start of the season.
General Manager Ryan McDonough revealed that Devin has been already practicing but using only his left hand, and now he is perfecting some left-hand runners and being able to make certain long passes with his off hand.
The most intriguing interviews were with new forwards Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson. Both were excited to be with the team and echoed the same reasons, that they are veterans looking to help make this team a contender.
Speaking of contenders, the Suns have a team goal that we have been hearing throughout the session, and that is that they want to be the most improved team this year.
That goal can be reached but the team is missing one key element and that is a starting caliber point guard that can demand attention. Much speculation as to the team possibly having a plan in place to rectify the point guard situation, as they traded away Brandon Knight.
Kemba Walker’s name continues to surface, but highly doubt that Hornets GM, Michael Jordan, would want to part from him.
Overall the team is still very young and Ariza and Anderson will aid Tyson Chandler in getting this young group to learn how to win early.
Head Coach Igor Kokoškov was asked about his scheme and other things he will implement this year being a first-year NBA head coach, and his answer was pretty simple saying “We as a coaching staff are going to play to our strengths and put our players in the positions that they excel in” which lead to my question in the session, what does that mean for three-year forward Dragon Bender? and Coach replied that we need to use Dragon in the areas that he is very good at, like spreading the floor and shooting and defending by moving his feet on defense and blocking shots.
A tall task for a tall under achieving Forward that was a high lottery pick and has not lived up to his potential yet. But hopefully, Coach Igor’s system will allow Bender to excel and most of all play with confidence.
Everything always looks good on paper but putting things together and getting winning results are easier said than done.