It’s official. Terry Porter is the new Phoenix Suns coach. During the press conference, a lot of the questions you would expect were asked and you could probably rattle off what most of the answers were, as well. That’s just what happens in a “presser”.
But I wanted to get our blog readers something a little different. You can go to other parts of Suns.com and get all of the “official” quotes about Terry Porter, what he’s going to bring to the organization, pictures of his playing and coaching career, why Suns GM Steve Kerr decided on Porter, etc. Reporters were all around the Suns’ top officials like Porter, Kerr, Senior VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin, VP of Player Programs Mark West, play-by-play man Al McCoy and color commentator Dan Majerle. But I wanted something different. So I went to Coach Porter’s family.
The Porter family has five members: Coach Porter, his wife Susie and his three kids – Brianna, Franklin and Malcolm. I sat in the media huddle with the coach and heard everything he had to say about the new job and what his plans are for the Phoenix Suns. Then I decided to get the juicy details about him, and I started peppering his family with questions.
Well, I guess “peppering” isn’t exactly the right word. First of all, Susie Porter is a very composed and well-spoken woman. With my interviewing skills, probably much better described as lack of interviewing skills, there was no way I was going to get her to say something controversial – even if I had really wanted to.
But I did ask her what qualities her husband had that made him a good husband and father, but that would also help him be a good coach. “He’s very patient and understanding,” Susie answered. “He has a calmness about him but he can also be stern. I call him the ‘flatliner’ because no matter the situation, it doesn’t faze him.”
The kids had a different take on it. 15-year-old Brianna responded, “He always looks so serious on the bench but he’s actually a lot of fun. He always makes time for us even though he is really busy.” Malcolm (who made sure to point out that he’s 10, but turning 11 next month) pointed out that Coach Porter “likes to have fun with the players” even when he is pushing them hard in practice.
The entire family had the same take regarding living in Phoenix. Mrs. Porter told me she definitely “wouldn’t miss the (snow) shovel in the middle of December.” The kids also seemed excited to be in Phoenix. Brianna said she enjoyed being a coach’s daughter because they get to move around so much and meet new people. “We have friends all over the country. We’ve had to learn how to be good friends because when we move, we have to keep in touch with them all.” Regarding the benefits of having a dad as an NBA coach, 12-year-old Franklin mentioned the fact that he and Malcolm get to visit NBA practices and meet the NBA players as a high point.
Regarding what their favorite place to live was (besides Phoenix), everyone had different answers: Susie loved Portland because of the history they had there with both the team and personally. The two boys had a hard time deciding but finally mentioned Milwaukee, and Brianna liked Detroit because of the school and the area they lived in.
I didn’t want to take up a lot of time with Coach Porter’s family since they probably hoped to spend most of their time in the background, but they were all gracious with me and my fumbling questions. They are a great family and based on the little amount of time I spent with them this afternoon, I think they’ll fit in great while in Phoenix. Welcome again to the entire Porter family. We’re excited to have you here!