It is usually veterans and coaches that make rookies go the extra mile and do crazy things. On Friday morning in downtown Phoenix, one of the Suns’ first-year players decided to followed Gangstarr’s lead and ‘Flip the Script’ on a coach.
The rookie in question was former Iowa State guard Diante Garrett and while he didn’t do it intentionally, he wound up making one of his assistant coach go the extra mile… literally.
“Yeah, I had a little car issue,” he said with a chuckle. “I ran out of gas [on the way to the arena]. I thought I put in enough last night but I guess it wasn’t.”
That lack of gas led to an unlikely hero emerging from the streets of Phoenix. That hero, so goes the rumor we heard, was Suns assistant Elston Turner.
“Rumors get around pretty quickly,” Turner joked when asked about the situation. “ I was coming through downtown and there was a big traffic jam. I was wondering what was going on up there. When I finally get up there, 10 minutes later, I see my rookie at the red light with his flashers on and everybody trying to go around him. I had to pull my car over and we both got out and pushed his car all throughout downtown.”
We’re not calling the rookie a liar, but his version of the story matched Turner’s about as well as Craig Sager’s suits match his shirts.
“Coach ET came to my rescue,” the rookie remembered. “I called him and I told him ‘I’m stuck at the light right down the street from the arena.’ He came out and helped me out. We got the car to a safe parking lot. It was good.”
While Turner is used to assisting, this wasn’t exactly what he had in mind while heading into work. Especially on a Friday morning.
“I got my workout early,” he said. “It was kind of funny. We were going through downtown, over the railroad tracks and to the arena.
“You get all kind of problems with these rookies. You don’t know what they’re good at and what they’re inexperienced at.”
That didn’t stop the coach from dispensing some free advice though.
“He was talking about the oil,” Turner explained. “I looked at the oil. It wasn’t an oil problem. He just ran out of gas. The ‘E’ means empty and the ‘F’ means full. Anywhere in between that would be fine.”
Turner’s efforts won’t go unrewarded though. The rookie knows that he has to pay his coach back for the assistance. Although, we think he can afford it.
“I’ll probably just take him to dinner,” he said. “It’ll be all good. Right before I do that I’m going to fill up the car, get an oil change. Whatever I have to do.”
Turner didn’t do it for the praise, accolades or the free meal. He did it to free up the streets from gridlock.
“That was a little different morning for me but we got him out of the street and traffic flowed smoothly after that,” Turner said.
While the coach sounds happy to have helped out his rookie in distress, we’ll have to see if the rookie now has to run that extra mile sometime soon after practice.