Finally, a chance to find a quiet coffee shop and relax for a couple hours. This schedule has been insane! We just finished 6 games(and broadcasts) in 8 days. And if you think only the players are feeling weary, think again. But as I tell all my family and friends, it beats the alternative that we were staring at in November.
Now in my 9th season on the road with the team, I have to point out one of my favorite parts of being around this particular group: Michael Redd. He is the genuine gentleman. That was a low-risk, high reward move by the Suns. Not only can the guy still play, he has added yet another touch of class and leadership alongside Steve and Grant. Michael, from Day One, has been warm and engaging. An all-star, Olympian and scoring machine with the Bucks, he came to the Suns with no attitude or agenda. Michael instantly fit in with the guys, who love to ride him for his unique style of clothing. He has an array of colorful sweaters and shoes that light-up the charter plane!
Never before have I met a player who addresses everyone by “sir.” His upbringing has been well documented. The son of a pastor who helped his dad build a church to serve the underprivileged in Ohio, Michael has a conviction and passion to make this world a better place. And he does that even in his daily interactions with each and every person he meets.
From the basketball side, he has embraced the training techniques of the Suns star-studded staff. Mike Elliott, the strength and conditioning expert, spoke to me at length about Michael’s significant improvement in the areas of balance, glute strength, and overall efficiency of movement. The results have been inspiring to say the least. His performance in Milwaukee and the recent 25 point explosion are a testament to his determination and the methods our training staff utilizes.
But here is what I most admire about Michael. There have been nights he has played limited minutes or none at all. Yet this well- decorated (and that includes his clothing along with his credentials) athlete never complained or sulked. He kept smiling, kept working and kept telling me “I am blessed to be here, Sir.”