Today was my first official day on the job. Everybody’s been asking me how it feels to be a member of the Phoenix Suns and now I can actually tell them. It feels really, really good.
We had our media day this afternoon before taking a bus down to Tucson, and I got a chance to put on my new Suns jersey for some pictures. It fits great, nice and snug. Actually, this is the first time that I’ve ever had a name on my back. As a kid, you always look forward to having your name on a jersey, but when I got to Wisconsin, they didn’t do that. They only had numbers. So that was really exciting today, and it’s definitely an honor to wear a Suns jersey.
Everything’s moved so fast the last few months, I haven’t really had time to sit back and reflect on all that’s happened. Right after the draft, it was off to Las Vegas for summer league, which was fun. Being able to play with DJ and Marcus Banks, two guys that I knew were going to be on the team this year, was cool. Banks, he’s a character, man. He’s one of those guys who’s always cracking jokes.
I then went to Vancouver for Steve Nash’s charity game. It was exciting because it was the first time I actually stepped on the court with him, and he was throwing me lob passes for dunks. It was amazing. I also got to meet Raja Bell and Leandro Barbosa, and see what kind of people they are. They were all really welcoming, which helped me feel more comfortable. And seeing their games up close and personal was also reassuring for me that I’m in the right place.
I also traveled with Steve and LB to Beijing a couple weeks ago for the Nash-Yao Ming charity game, which was a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to travel the world, and China is one of the places I’ve wanted to go. Being able to experience that culture and go to the Forbidden City was incredible. Those are some mental pictures that I’ll carry with me forever.
Beijing is a very modernized city. There are a lot of people there. Traffic is heavy. It looked a lot like L.A. actually. But it felt good to be able to go and help raise money for children there. The events raised $2.5 million, which will go to build something like 70 new schools. I love to give back to the community, so being a part of that was really special.
We have our first practice of camp tomorrow morning. I don’t know exactly what to expect, but some of the veterans have been telling me it’s going to go smooth. Coach D’Antoni is a good guy. He doesn’t want to make camp too intense, to the point where we’re hurting ourselves, but at the same time I’m sure we’ll work on a lot. I just want to try and gain as much as I can, as far as understanding the offense and defense, and the whole style. That’s my mindset going into camp. Wish me luck.