The game has begun to slow down for me.
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The 2007-08 campaign ended a lot sooner than we expected and following our loss in San Antonio on Tuesday were back in Phoenix on Wednesday to clean out our lockers. Talking to some of the guys following the elimination game, it seems we just have to do a better job of paying attention to every detail. Personnel wise and player wise we don’t feel San Antonio was necessarily better, but they’re so great at paying attention to every little thing and closing out games which makes them a championship team. They’ve done it four times in the past nine years by doing that and that’s what we have to learn. Every player has to be ready from start to finish and we can’t take any plays off, we have to stay consistent the entire game. I think we have points where we have a lot of energy, we make great runs, but we don’t sustain those runs. You watch San Antonio, they play consistent the whole game and that’s somewhere I think we can improve.
After the game we talked about dedicating ourselves over the summer to not taking that series for granted and by learning from it and finding what we have to do to get over the hump. We talked about the feeling that we had after the loss, and that the mistakes that we made were ones we could have prevented and won some ballgames. We really feel like we could have had Game 1 and Game 2 was another one we feel we let slip away.
I made some great relationships on the team this season. I already know no matter what happens there are guys on this team I’ll know a lifetime. The relationships that I’ve made with these guys are ones I’ve felt comfortable with this entire year. In the NBA, we know how situations can change and how addresses can change but we’re going to make sure to keep in touch. We all pull for each other and want to do what it takes to help each other; which is why I’m going to work hard on my game this summer. I just want to be able to help this team next year no matter what it is I have to do.
A lot of the veterans weren’t shy when it came to talking to me and helping me learn. Guys like Grant Hill and Steve Nash really worked with me from a mental standpoint, mainly on my composure and learning the game as much as possible. They encouraged me to watch a lot of film and learn the game mentally because I wouldn’t be playing too much physically. By doing that, I learned a lot which has helped slow the game down. As the season went on, I learned more and noticed the more I studied, the more the game slowed down for me.
I didn’t get a lot of playing time, but playing for a championship team has been beneficial in so many ways. You play on a team of guys who play to be champions and you learn to prepare yourself physically and mentally – to play like a champion. I couldn’t take a second off, I always had to prepare myself as a champion.
As far as favorite memories, everything has just happened so fast (it feels like I was just in training camp), I really haven’t had time to reflect like that yet. One thing I will remember is that this was an unbelievable season and I’ll never forget picking up a guy like Shaq midway through.
As far as whether or not I’ll continue to watch the playoffs, I’m a basketball head so I will definitely be watching. I’ve got a couple friends here and there on different teams so I’ll be watching and rooting for them. Plus it allows me to continue learning and bettering my game, which I’m all for.
Now it’s time for the offseason where I’ll still have my hands filled. I’m going to spend a lot of time working on my game. I also have a couple camps planned for kids back home and don’t think I’m going to take any days off. I’m going right back to the gym tonight and know I need to have that attitude if I hope to be incorporated into this team’s offense or defense. I’ve got a year down now and think I’ll be ready next season.
Thanks again for reading and I already told the guys at Suns.com to expect to hear from me during the summer. See you then.