(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.

Even as a veteran, you get a little nervous entering camp, because you want to do well. You want to perform well in front of your peers and the coaching staff. But that’s why you work hard all summer to put yourself in position to be successful.

This is actually the first time I’ve ever been to San Diego, which is exciting. Not that we’re going to be hanging out at the beach, of course. We’re going to be working extremely hard, but I think training camp is an important week to start creating that bond as a team. You’re going to hear me say that a lot this year. I don’t think people understand just how important that is, but you need that trust factor, not only on the court, but away from basketball, as well. If you get that, you know when basketball starts, that’s going to be the easy part.

We also need to focus on developing that mentality that we are good. We don’t want to think about the past Suns teams or talk about who’s not here anymore. We want to concentrate on this new group of guys and getting as good as can possibly get, so that we can compete at the highest level we can possibly compete at.

Having worked out with these guys the last couple of weeks getting ready for training camp, I can tell that we are going to be very athletic and very explosive. This is a talented group and I think that we all believe we can be good. That was probably my only concern coming in. Do we believe we can win? After spending some time with my new teammates, I know we do.

Oct. 1, 2012

We just wrapped up our Media Day, which is always fun.

For me, this is almost routine going into my 17th year, but I still enjoy it. I think I probably had my photo taken a hundred times in the last two hours. We also shot some video on green-screen, although I’m a little more serious than some guys. I don’t really do a whole lot of jumping around, waving my hands… those “make some noise” prompts for in-stadium.

But I think it’s a good opportunity for fans to get a little more insight into our personalities, through all the photos, videos and interviews. We get asked a lot of off-the-wall questions, which is fantastic for the average fan, who is used to watching us run up and down the court. It gives them a different perspective and lets them relate to us as human beings.

There were a lot of reporters here. We’re back from summer, so everybody is interested in what we’ve been doing and how we are feeling entering the new season.

I got a lot of questions as to why I decided to come to Phoenix. For me, it was all about being happy and having an opportunity to be a part of something special. I had offers from some championship-caliber teams, but being able to play a part in creating a bond and a family atmosphere is more meaningful to me than just making a roster that is already fully-equipped. I’ve fought for so long to earn what I’ve gotten, that being just given something wasn’t an option for me.

Obviously, winning is special and if I didn’t think that we had a chance to be a playoff team, I would not have come here. But when Coach Gentry and Lance Blanks came down to meet with me this summer, they really sold me. It just felt right. This is a good fit for me and I can’t wait to get started with training camp tomorrow.

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