One on One: Wesley Johnson

Suns One On One host Greg Esposito caught up with Suns swingman, and recent late game hero, Wesley Johnson after practice Tuesday. The two talk about how he choose basketball over football, what it was like transferring after his sophomore year of college, living up to expectations and making an impact on the Suns lately. Hear all that and much more on this episode.

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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. Also get in touch with the show by email here.

One On One: Hamed Haddadi

Suns One On One host Greg Esposito caught up with the newest Sun and first Iranian born NBA player Hamed Haddadi after shoot around Tuesday. The two talk about how he fell in love with basketball, what it was like growing up in Iran, why he chose No. 98 and what he wants Phoenix fans to know about him. Hear all that and much more on this episode.

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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. Also get in touch with the show by email here.

Not Just Personnel But Personal Side to Each Trade

The NBA trade deadline is an exciting time for fans. During the days leading up to it they gather around their computers, tablets, phones and televisions to see the latest and greatest rumors. While the buzz and intrigue about the game is great for the teams, media outlets and those with a rooting interest, there is another side to it all. A more personal side.

While everyone loves watching athletes perform at the highest level on the court, it can cloud our perception. We lose sight of the fact that, in the end, these warriors we metaphorically and emotionally live and die with are simply just regular men with regular feelings who just happen to be extraordinary physical specimens.

That becomes abundantly clear during the trade process to those on the inside.

“It’s the worst part of the job,” Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said. “I’ve been on both sides of it now. When I was on the agent side you’re just commiserating with your clients around the trade deadline who may be moved. I used to say to people in my law firm ‘imagine if you got up in the morning and somebody said you’ve been traded to a law firm in San Francisco and you have 48 hours to get there.’ It doesn’t happen in any other business. It happens in our business and it’s a part of it and everybody understands it going in. That doesn’t mean it’s easier for your wife, family kids or yourself.”

Jared Dudley, who came to the Suns via trade in 2008, knows all too well the difficulties of the process.

“At that time I didn’t have any kids so it was easier to move,” the swingman said. “I got the call and you have to be there within 48 hours. You pack two or three suitcases and you’re living out of a hotel.”

It’s not just the moving that is difficult, it’s leaving personal relationships behind and trying to form new ones while also trying to do your job at the highest level in a new city.

“You form a relationship with these guy that are here,” Babby said. “We see them every day. We travel with them. You develop those relationships. Whether it’s waiving somebody or trading somebody you can’t not consider the personal aspects of it. At the end of the day though, we have a job that requires us to do what we can and fulfil our obligations to our franchise to do our best to get better.”

Someone who is in the midst of the process, Marcus Morris who just arrived in Phoenix, knows those emotions first hand.

“Being around certain people for a long time and having a good connection with them and having to move is kind of weird,” Morris said sorting through the whirlwind 48 hours he’s just been through. “But moving to be with Keef is like going where family is. Anyone that is close to him will be the same with me because we’re identical personalities.”

It’s not just the player arriving in a new city that has to make an adjustment. His new teammates have to adjust to someone else joining their tight knit group.

“It’s kind of like a brotherhood,” Dudley said of the NBA. “Even though you’re not on the same team, it’s a respect for one another. It’s always difficult at first but then a new guy comes in and you have a new buddy, a new friend and new personalities.”

The key to a smooth transition though is how the organization welcomes a new player and helps make them feel at home as soon as possible. It is something Babby and his staff take a great pride in doing well.

“Everything we do here is about making sure we have an environment that is player friendly and accommodating to our players to give them the best chance to succeed,” he said. “We do everything we can to welcome them and their families. With Marcus it’s easy because he has a built in advantage and been an honorary member of the family all along.”

Basketball is a business and player movement is inevitable. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a very real and personal effect both for those leaving an organization and those coming in that comes along with fans excitement. There’s not just a personnel side but personal side to each trade.

Frye’s One Heart Raises Awareness

(Courtesy of Sportique.com)

Facing a life-threatening ailment will give a person perspective. For Suns power forward Channing Frye, it’s a perspective that he now wants to share with everyone.

Diagnosed with an enlarged heart that prohibited him from playing basketball this season, the 6-11 Frye has been forced to do something that he hasn’t done for a long time: nothing. That’s because if Frye does too much, he could be endangering his life.

Besides spending loads of time with his family, occasionally hitting the links and practicing yoga, Frye’s seemingly infinite amount of downtime has caused him to reflect and reexamine his life. His new perspective forged by his health condition has led him to want to raise awareness about an issue that can often go undetected.

“I just got back from shoulder surgery and I had never felt better,” Frye said. “For me it was just shock and awe because I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me.

“I just want people and parents with kids playing sports to just get tested. It only takes 15 minutes.”

Frye, whose friend works for the apparel line, Sportique, sat down with the company to see if the two sides could help each other out. The Suns standout, who said that the shirts are so comfortable that it’s “like putting a rainbow on your body,” decided to team with the designers to launch “One Heart” t-shirts to make people more conscious of heart issues.

A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Frye Family Foundation, which will make people – especially young athletes – mindful of potential heart problems. While heart troubles can be triggered by cultural influences such as too much caffeine, lack of sleep, bad diet and overexertion at work, it’s the randomness in how it affected Frye that he wants people to become more educated about.

If an adult or kid is incredibly active, Frye believes that they should spend the extra 15 minutes and have an EKG performed. For Frye, it made all the difference.

“Even if we save one life because of this,” Frye said. “My job would be done.”

To order a “One Heart” shirt, click here for the men’s shirts and click here for female’s shirts. By using the code “ONEHEART” when you order, you can receive a 25 percent discount.

Brown Shares Thoughts on Buss

The passing of Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss was felt not just in Los Angeles but around the entire NBA Monday. From players to rival executives, words of condolence and praise for one of the most successful owners in league history poured in from across various media platforms.

One member of the Suns that was directly affected by Buss and his leadership was guard Shannon Brown, who played two and a half seasons in a Lakers uniform.

“It’s so sad to hear it,” Brown said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.” [Read more...]

Jermaine O’Neal and Kendall Marshall Go Way Back

Sometimes life comes full circle.

As kids we all worship certain people. Whether it be professional athletes, actors, writers, business leaders or reality television stars — a category newly added to the list for reasons beyond me — there are just individuals that we look up to and want to be around.

On a rare occasion you get to meet those people that hold a large influence over you and spend a few minutes in their presence. On an even rarer occasion, you get to actually work with them when you grow up.

At least that was the case for Suns rookie point guard Kendall Marshall. [Read more...]

Harlem Shake (Phoenix Suns Edition)

You’ll never believe what happens in the Suns Team Shop at US Airways Center.

Suns One On One: Foreign All-Star Games

Suns One On One host Greg Esposito sat down with P.J. Tucker and Goran Dragic to discuss their experience in foreign all-star games and find out what dunk one of these two won a dunk contest on. Hear all that and much more on this week’s episode.

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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. Also get in touch with the show by email here.

Thunder Not the Only Thing Worth Fearing in OKC

With the second-best record in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder don’t appear to be a team in need of additional advantages. Particularly at home where they are 21-3, the talent-filled roster featuring All-Stars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook would appear to be enough. But upon further investigation, it looks like there may have been another contributor to the Thunder’s success these past few seasons, one who doesn’t appear on the team’s official roster. [Read more...]

Suns One On One: Aaron Nelson

Suns One On One host Greg Esposito sat down with Suns head athletic trainer, only the second in the team’s 45 year history, Aaron Nelson to discuss his almost 20 seasons with the organization. Find out which former Suns fan favorite is his brother-in-law and how two familiar names in Suns history almost became accountants rather than basketball players. Hear all that and much more on this week’s episode.

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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. Also get in touch with the show by email here.