The Veteran: Al McCoy

In August, Los Angeles Dodger play-by-play announcer Vin Scully declared that he’d return next season for a record breaking 64th campaign with the club. It was a pretty big deal in Southern California – Everybody here exhaled in relief and blew an extra quantity of smog to the east, explaining those particularly polluted days in Phoenix early in September. The Dodgers without Scully? Unthinkable. You might as well take Mason away from Dixon, Black away from Decker, or Hall away from Oates.

(By the by, the Dodgers’ Spanish-language play-by-play guy, the estimable Jaime Jarrin, announced around the same time that he’d be coming back, too, for a 55th season…thus making him only the second-longest tenured announcer in baseball.)

Wait, you say. This isn’t a Los Angeles Dodger blog. It isn’t even a baseball blog. Has Beechen been without basketball for so long that he’s completely lost his grip? [Read more...]

Growing Up Dudley

The four years a person spends in high school are the most formative of their life. At least that’s what the experts say. You grow and mature both mentally and physically so much so that by the end of that period of your life you’re barely recognizable. The people you interact with, and the school you attend, go a long way to forming who you’ll become in life. [Read more...]

Gortat Brings Lessons From Afghanistan to Camp

Players bring all sorts of things with them to training camp. From the normal like clothes, family and food to the more obscure like video game systems, special hair products and embarrassing backpacks. (OK, the latter is just for the rookies.) While in many ways Marcin Gortat is like any other athlete, there is one thing he brought with him that is unlike any of his teammates.

No, Gortat didn’t bring wild animals, exotic accoutrements or any other overly eccentric items with him to San Diego (at least none that we know of). What he brought was something of a less materialistic nature. He took with him to camp the memories of his summer trip to Afghanistan to visit with Polish troops stationed there and the impact it made on him. [Read more...]

First Impressions of the 2012-13 Suns

(Greg Esposito/Suns.com)

The first practice of training camp is like a trailer to a movie. You get to see glimpses of your favorite players as they assume their new or traditional roles. [Read more...]

Training Camp: Kendall Marshall has Bieber Fever

Training camp is as much about building relationships and camaraderie as it is about hard work, fundamentals and conditioning. That’s why it was about as shocking as someone having a drink on Mad Mennot at all — that after Tuesday evening’s practice the veterans decided to have a little fun.

Under the direction of the elder statesman Jermaine O’Neal, center Marcin Gortat surprised rookie Kendall Marshall with a little something he can wear around the rest of the week. [Read more...]

Optimism Reigns on Day 1 of Training Camp

The opening day for anything brings the most optimism. The first day a blockbuster movie comes out, people line up for tickets thanks to weeks and months of marketing and anticipation (See: Why I spent nine hours in a Dark Knight marathon).

The first day of school is when a child is most excited to see friends and meet a new teacher. A person’s first kiss is unlike anything they’ll ever experience again. In the NBA, the first day of training camp comes with a similar sense of anticipation and hopefulness. It’s the day when all 30 teams in the league are standing on similar footing. It’s when everyone is undefeated, literally and metaphorically. [Read more...]

Jermaine O'Neal's Training Camp Blog

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

Oct. 4, 2012

The player that has impressed me the most thus far has been Markieff Morris. He’s like a sponge.

That’s the first thing I noticed about him. I always stay after our workouts and get some extra work in, and the first two days I looked to the side and saw him just sitting there watching.

That’s a sign of a player that wants to be better, has a plan, and wants to be really good in this league. He went from watching the first couple days to getting in there and doing drills with me.

You could tell that he wanted to get in and work hard. I was impressed with a lot of guys, but I was probably most impressed with him because he is a young guy with a very hard work ethic. You don’t see that a lot in our league.

It’s my position to really help guys, not only on the court, but away from basketball. Mentally if you’re there, you’re going to get better physically.

Oct. 3, 2012

The Suns training staff is just unbelievable. They do a lot of things that I haven’t seen in a while.

This is a billion dollar business, but you’d be surprised, certain teams don’t go to the extent of keeping those entities healthy to win games. The routine on a day-to-day basis is not always the best.

It’s like an assembly line in a factory, where you go down the line and everybody’s touching you. You go from one person to the next to the next, until you’re ready.

But Grant Hill sold the Suns’ training staff to me and the importance they put on being healthy. Grant and I went to Germany for the treatment and started talking about that. And then Jared talked more about that to me in Vegas.

But coming back all started with going out to Germany and getting that treatment. It went phenomenal.

I did a four month training session to try to change my body, change everything about it. It was like starting with a clean white board.

Instead of working out like I have done in the past, it was like starting over as if I was a rookie. The more I got into the workouts, the better I felt. I started noticing that I got lift again.

It wasn’t just my knee, it was more mental. I had to ask myself: is this really what I wanted to do going into my 17th season?

But the more I got into the summer, the better I felt. I told teams that I had a due date that I wanted to get to before I decided to play.

And I did…

Oct. 2, 2012

Day one of training camp!

Entering my 17th NBA season, I’ve obviously participated in a lot of them, but I’m really looking forward to this one because it’s different. It’s a new system for me, new teammates, a new philosophy and a new challenge, which is what our league is all about. [Read more...]

Retorter’s Video Notebook: Suns Social Media Day

Media day is all about fun. Fans get the chance to see their team for the first time, the media gets to ask anything they want and the players get to have a laugh before the grind of the season begins to take its toll. With that in mind, we here on the Suns official blog decided to have a little fun with the team. We got to know them by seeing how well they know their teammates and themselves.

If you’ve ever wondered if your favorite player prefers pancakes or waffles, would rather be Batman or Superman or numerous other off-the-wall questions, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for hardcore basketball analysis, you’re probably watching the wrong interviews from media day.

Retorter's Video Notebook: Suns Social Media Day

Media day is all about fun. Fans get the chance to see their team for the first time, the media gets to ask anything they want and the players get to have a laugh before the grind of the season begins to take its toll. With that in mind, we here on the Suns official blog decided to have a little fun with the team. We got to know them by seeing how well they know their teammates and themselves.

If you’ve ever wondered if your favorite player prefers pancakes or waffles, would rather be Batman or Superman or numerous other off-the-wall questions, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for hardcore basketball analysis, you’re probably watching the wrong interviews from media day.