When the season ended for Luis Scola his mind was 5,597 miles away from Phoenix, Arizona and for good reason. He had just wrapped up the year in Houston with the Rockets and was prepared for a journey that would lead him to London in August. With the 2012 Olympics right around the corner the forward was focused on getting to Spain to begin preparing for the Summer games with his Argentine teammates. What a difference two months makes.
On Tuesday Scola was in Spain with the Argentina National Team but his mind was in the desert southwest. The 6-foot-9 forward spent time after practice on a conference call with the local media discussing his new team. Despite the nine-hour time difference, he politely spent nearly 20 minutes answering all sorts of queries. Questions that came at him in two different languages (English and Spanish) and that ranged from whether or not he knew his time in Houston was coming to an end to how he expects his country to fare in London. Throughout the call one thing became quite clear, the Suns had acquired themselves a humble player who is ready to get to work.
“I’ve been playing basketball for a lot of years,” the 32-year-old forward said. “That’s always a help while trying to be a leader. I try to lead by example and work as hard as I can. “That’s what I did in Houston and it’s what I’ll try to do in Phoenix.”
In Houston that effort and leadership led to career averages of 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. It also helped him become a fan and locker room favorite for a team that never had a losing season with him on the roster. Scola sees more of that success in his future in Phoenix thanks in part to the talent already assembled around him.
“I think it’s a great situation,” he told reporters. “We have a great team. I’ve always liked Gortat’s game. He could be a good help for me.”
This offseason Scola will have gone halfway around the world from where his 2011-12 season ended. Despite the miles he’ll log and the places he’ll stay, it sounds like the forward’s heart is now in Phoenix. And that should be good news to all Suns fans.
“I felt, from the calls with the Suns organization, that they’re happy with me,” he expressed. “They want me there. That’s a good thing. I’m happy. I’m excited. The more I think about it, the more I want to go [to Phoenix] and play.”