Barnes' Blog Debut

Training camp is here and I can’t wait to get things started. There is a lot of anxiety and tension as we figure out what this team has to offer, but everyone is ready to implement the new system and see what we’ve got.

The first day of camp was a lot of pictures, a lot of talking to reporters and getting everyone’s opinion on how the season is going to go. I was asked a lot of questions about how excited I am to be here and how I think I’ll fit into the system. As I’ve told everyone, I think it will be pretty easy to go from Golden State to Phoenix. They were the two highest scoring teams last season, so hopefully it will be a smooth transition. [Read more...]

A Camping Veteran

Media Day 2008 is in the books and Training Camp is officially underway.

This year’s Media Day on the practice court felt a lot different than last season’s as a rookie. I was more relaxed and more comfortable because I knew what to expect. I still came in with a lot of energy and because I’m so much more accustomed to speaking with the media, I was able to relax a little bit more. Best of all, I wasn’t the butt of all the vets’ jokes like I was last season. This year I was even able to joke around with some of the young guys myself.

Speaking of, this year’s crop of Suns rookies have been asking me a lot of questions. I understand where they’re coming from. It’s tough coming into this league not knowing what to anticipate. I remember last year at Media Day kind of feeling in awe of everything, a bit in shock that I was attending my first NBA function. So I’ve been giving as much advice to the guys as I can, both good and bad. I’ve probably scared them a little bit more than anything else though. [Read more...]

Training Camp: Past and Present

Greetings, Suns fans.  As the new seasons nears and training camp is about to begin I have been asked to go back in time to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the Suns were in their infancy and have a look at how things have changed since that first training camp of mine so many seasons ago.  I am also quite sure this honor has been bestowed upon me as I wore numeral 41 and this is the 41st year for us.  No less an honor for compadre, Mark West, who also wore this number.  We are the only two in team history.  But, I digress.

As they say, ‘back in the day’ here is how it was.  In this first respect, it was the same then as it is now except for the jump off point.   We all met at the Coliseum – you remember the Madhouse on McDowell – and boarded a large bus just as the current Suns edition will do for their drive ‘down’ to Tucson.  Hmm, why is that we refer to Tucson as down there when it is a higher elevation??  Perhaps, the southeasterly direction.  Again, I digress.  After the doors shut and the trip begins, the similarities almost cease until workouts begin. There were no electronic devices for anything – phones, PDA, video games, IPod, laptop, etc. [Read more...]

Suns chances good this season

“Who can look into the seeds of time and see which will grow and which will not?” Shakespeare complained in one of his crankier moods.

Well, sports bloggers, that’s who!

So, without further ado, the seeds envelope please.

Well, okay, a little more ado. A year ago at this time the word to the wise for the excited citizenry of Planet Orange was, “Calm down.” This year it’s “Cheer up.” [Read more...]

Hopes are high during Media Day

Today is the day all Suns fans have been waiting for – Media Day!  Today is the official start of the 2008-2009 season.  It’s the day when the media gets to see the players after a summer off, when all of the questions that have pent up after digesting a coaching change, the addition of several new players through the draft and free agency and the questions that still linger after the first round exit in the playoffs last season.

Today was much more relaxed than last year’s event.  During Media Day last season, the main question was about how Shawn Marion would act after declaring he wanted to be traded.  People were trying to get answers to their questions about the team while trying not to dredge up bad feelings about the Marion situation.  All the reporters felt they had to ask the questions fans wanted to know – while knowing that the players and coaches most likely wouldn’t say anything people didn’t already know.  It was a tense two hours. [Read more...]

Let's Go Camping!

Welcome to another exciting season of Suns’ basketball, fans!   It’s amazing how quickly the offseason goes by – training camp begins this week and before you know it, we’ll be tipping off the regular season in San Antonio on October 29th.

As always, the Western Conference promises to be deep and competitive, but we  feel we have the talent to compete with anyone.  Obviously, there have been significant additions made to our team this summer, and I wanted to let you know my thoughts as the season gets underway. [Read more...]

How to Train Like a Sun


Phillips shows athletes how to “step up” their games in the weight room.

Brad G. Faye/Suns.com

Last year, I wrote how you can train like Steve Nash. This year, I tried to become Steve Nash…

I always believed that if you really want to know or do something, you need to do it yourself. So when people ask me how NBA players work out during the offseason, I figured I needed to experience it personally.

As a former basketball player in college as well as overseas, I’ve had several strength and conditioning coaches in my career, but I’ve never had the privilege of being guided by anyone as talented as the gurus on the Suns’ training staff. Their methods are simple, but drawn off a thorough and intricate underlying philosophy. They treat every athlete individually, tailoring every workout to their specific bodies and goals.

But when I underwent my workout with head strength and conditioning coach Erik Phillips, I performed the same workout that every new Suns player undergoes when they arrive in Phoenix. From that workout, my medical history, my goals and the length of my offseason, Erik would then prescribe me an individual workout, that over time, would consist of three phases: [Read more...]

Yo STATta STATta!

Courtesy: YoGabbaGabba.com

Courtesy: YoGabbaGabba.com

I used to be frightened by the TeleTubbies. Well, frightened and somewhat intrigued at the same time. I’m still convinced there was some sort of subliminal messaging going on there, especially whenever that sun with the baby face would rise over the bunny farm and start to laugh. I have no idea what that was all about. I think it was laughing at the audience.

But this new hit kids show, Yo Gabba Gabba! disturbs me in an all-new way. I can’t tell you why exactly, because I loved Sesame Street as a kid and enjoyed watching Bear & the Big Blue House with my son when he was little. But there’s just something about giant furry creatures bouncing around with a dude in an orange jumpsuit that weirds me out.

What’s this have to do with our beloved Phoenix Suns, you ask?

[Read more...]

NBA season just around the corner

Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images

Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images

I was driving home from the arena the other day and was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Normally when that happens, I turn on the radio and try to forget that it’s going to take me nearly an hour to get home while people in the carpool lane next to me are zooming on by. So there I was, listening to music and minding my own business, when I heard a honk from the direction of the HOV lane. I looked over and there was a van next to me.

The driver had slowed down enough so they were going the same speed I was and he was holding up all the people behind me. But he didn’t seem to care. When I had looked at him, he rolled down his passenger side window and was motioning with his hand to roll down mine. I thought maybe there was something going on with my car and he was trying to save me from imminent death. So I rolled down the window. [Read more...]

Nash leading by example

Following a scrimmage game on the Suns practice court at the US Airways Center this week, several players stopped for a quick Gatorade break on the sideline. After a few moments they returned, with the exception of one player – two-time MVP Steve Nash. It wasn’t because Steve was tired and thankfully it wasn’t because he had pulled anything. It was simply because he had never left.

In fact, at no point in between the four or five scrimmage games the team ran did Nash stop and take a break. He stayed on the court and just kept on shooting. I’m not telling this story because I necessarily recommend it from a health standpoint, but simply to set up the point I’m hopefully going to make.

[Read more...]