Pick N’ Pop: Wes Johnson on Cartoons

In every edition of Pick N’ Pop, Suns.com catches up with a member of the Suns family to discuss personal preferences in all things pop culture. As always, we encourage you to check out our lists, watch the video for some elaboration and weigh in with your opinion in the comment section below. [Read more...]

Bassy Homecoming with Mixed Emotions

(Photo Credit: Marlene Hall)

It has been just over a month since Hurricane Sandy left a number of cities, states and countries in shock and devastation. And with the storm taking place so close to the start of the NBA season, for Sebastian Telfair, this past weekend’s stop in New York marked the guard’s first visit to the Big Apple since Sandy took place.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Telfair said he had heard warnings of ensuing hurricanes in the past, but learned after a while that they generally didn’t amount to much more than warnings. An example of this took place just a year ago, when Hurricane Irene caused several New Yorkers to unnecessarily evacuate their homes. But when it came to Sandy, however, Telfair says he knew fairly quickly that this time would be different. [Read more...]

Tucker Returns to Where NBA Career Began

While it would be easy to look at P.J. Tucker’s statistics through the first three games of this current six-game road trip and assume he’s been struggling, the production of some players can’t be defined by a boxscore. [Read more...]

Suns One On One: Dudley on Movies

Suns One on One host Greg Esposito, along with Suns.com’s Brad G. Faye, caught up with swingman Jared Dudley to talk about one of his favorite subjects. No, not basketball, they talked movies. Dudley breaks down what makes a good film, talks about his favorite comedies of all-time and give his analysis on the new film Flight. Plus he goes one on five answering five rapid fives questions. All that and more in this week’s edition of Suns One On One.

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Don’t forget you can find a new episode of the show here every week, you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes and listen in the official Suns App.

P.J. Tucker the Next Dan Majerle?

It’s a little known fact what is P.J. in P.J. Tucker stands for. That’s because Tucker’s real first name is Anthony: named after his dad. So why aren’t his initials A.J.?

His father, a baseball player, was known for the pop in his bat and thus got the moniker, Pop. That’s how the Suns forward wound up with the nickname Pops Jr., or P.J. for short.

It’s funny because pop is exactly what Tucker has provided the Suns off the bench all season long. His energy and effort have been a large reason why the Suns have made more comebacks this season than Brett Favre and Guns and Roses combined. [Read more...]

Suns One On One: P.J. Tucker

On this week’s episode our host Greg Esposito sits down with Suns forward, affectionately known as the Garbage Man, P.J. Tucker to talk about his life in basketball, how he got the nickname P.J. and see if he can name every country he’s ever played basketball in.

Espo caught up with P.J. Tucker (@PJTucker17 on Twitter) after practice last week to discuss these topics and more. This, is their conversation. [Read more...]

Gentry’s Friend Becomes Foe


(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images)

It looks as if the playbooks can be thrown out when the Suns and Lakers face each other this season. Who needs them when both teams have been studying the same one? [Read more...]

Suns a Top Five Team on the Rise

Another day, another superlative from the NBA.com Hang Time Blog regarding the upcoming edition of the Phoenix Suns.

Just a day after blogger Sekou Smith proclaimed Goran Dragic one of the Five Guys to Watch entering the 2012-13 season, the author came back Wednesday to declare the entire team one of the league’s Five Teams on the Rise.
Smith explained that he likes the group of players the Suns collected this offseason – including Dragic, Michael Beasley and Luis Scola – because they will all be playing with “huge chips on their shoulder this season.” [Read more...]

Gortat Leads Poland in Qualifiers

(Courtesy of Poland Sport Online)

Luis Scola wasn’t the only Suns player representing his country this summer. Although Marcin Gortat wasn’t chasing an Olympic medal in London, the Suns center was leading Poland in his country’s attempt to qualify for FIBA EuroBasket 2013.

After six games, Marcin Gortat and the men’s national basketball team of Poland are 4-2. In Poland’s first outing, Gortat and Co. were upset 64-57 by the visiting Belgians, despite 23 points from the Suns standout.

In the second game of the qualifying tournament, Poland rebounded on the road by dealing Switzerland an 80-66 loss. Gortat led Poland’s attack with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Following its first victory, Poland then proceeded to drop an 81-79 decision to Finland, falling victim to two made free throws in the closing moments. Despite the “Polish Hammer” and his 13 points and 11 rebounds, Poland fell to 1-2 for the tournament.

After that shocking defeat, Poland responded by blowing out Albania, 105-67. Poland, which led 56-33 at halftime, moved to 2-2 before facing a 3-1 Belgian team on Friday.

With Poland in need of a win, Gortat erupted for 29 points and 10 rebounds as his country posted an 87-73 victory over host Belgium. Both teams moved to 3-2, sitting behind surprise Finland, which is a perfect 5-0 in Group E play.

On Sunday, Poland dominated Switzerland, roaring to a 117-67 victory at home. Gorat and Co. jumped out to a 32-16 lead at the end of the first period and never looked back from there.

Gortat racked up 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead his national team. Poland now sits at 4-2 for the tournament. Next up for Poland is Finland on Wednesday.


September 6, 2012

Gortat Dominates Against Finland

In what can only be described as one of the Marcin Gortat’s best performances for Poland, the Suns center erupted against Finland on Wednesday in a EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round game.

The 27 points and 21 rebounds he posted helped lead his squad to a 96-91 victory and a 5-2 record thus far in the tournament.
Poland needed every ounce of his effort as Finland hung nearby to make it a close game throughout.

But it wasn’t just that Gortat played hard, it was also that he was efficient over the course of the game. His 27 points came off of 11-of-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.

He collected four rebounds on the offensive end, 17 on the defensive end and also contributed with three blocked shots.
The win served as a little bit of revenge for Gortat and the Poles, as they had lost to Finland earlier in the tournament.
Poland also moved a little closer to getting out of the qualifying round successfully, and will next take on Albania on Saturday.

Teams that advance will be eligible to participate in the FIBA Basket in 2013.

September 10, 2012

Gortat Became Poland’s EuroBasket Star

Just like last season with the Phoenix Suns, Poland could count on Marcin Gortat regularly for a double-double during the qualifying round of the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket.

The center averaged 21.1 and 11.6 rebounds for his country during eight group-round games, in which he helped lead Poland to a 6-2 record. The mark was good enough to win Group E.
The next round of the tournament will be set on Tuesday, but Gortat has helped secure a place in the tournament play for the Poles – which will begin this time next year.

In the final game of qualifiers on Saturday, Poland easily handled Albania 89-59. Again, it was Gortat who paced the team, as he tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes of play.
He continued to be extremely efficient on the offensive end, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.

Thus far, the EuroBasket has been a chance for the big man to show just how his game is continually growing. He has undoubtedly been the main man for Poland, as evidenced by his points per game average being the fourth-best in the tournament.

Gortat is also the second-best rebounder thus far in the EuroBasket.
In the game just prior to this one against Albania, Gortat proved how important he has been to Poland – as he led the team throughout a tightly-contested game with Poland by scoring 27 points and recording a tournament-best 21 rebounds.
With his time overseas now complete, it will bear watching to see how the EuroBasket experience helped the center over the course of another NBA season.

Around the World Trivia With P.J. Tucker

Since being selected with the No. 35 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Raptors, P.J. Tucker has taken a basketball odyssey that has taken him from the NBA, to around the world, and now back to the NBA. Signed by the Suns this summer, the small forward shared his experiences of playing around the world with me recently. Check out what he had to say about life abroad in this little trivia contest. His answers might surprise you. [Read more...]