With 17 seasons of playing in the NBA under his belt, Suns center Jermaine O’Neal has long started the process of starting his life after his basketball career ends. Check out what the six-time All-Star has in store for himself when he’s finished on the court. [Read more...]
Players bring all sorts of things with them to training camp. From the normal like clothes, family and food to the more obscure like video game systems, special hair products and embarrassing backpacks. (OK, the latter is just for the rookies.) While in many ways Marcin Gortat is like any other athlete, there is one thing he brought with him that is unlike any of his teammates.
No, Gortat didn’t bring wild animals, exotic accoutrements or any other overly eccentric items with him to San Diego (at least none that we know of). What he brought was something of a less materialistic nature. He took with him to camp the memories of his summer trip to Afghanistan to visit with Polish troops stationed there and the impact it made on him. [Read more...]
Training camp is as much about building relationships and camaraderie as it is about hard work, fundamentals and conditioning. That’s why it was about as shocking as someone having a drink on Mad Men– not at all — that after Tuesday evening’s practice the veterans decided to have a little fun.
Under the direction of the elder statesman Jermaine O’Neal, center Marcin Gortat surprised rookie Kendall Marshall with a little something he can wear around the rest of the week. [Read more...]
The opening day for anything brings the most optimism. The first day a blockbuster movie comes out, people line up for tickets thanks to weeks and months of marketing and anticipation (See: Why I spent nine hours in a Dark Knight marathon).
The first day of school is when a child is most excited to see friends and meet a new teacher. A person’s first kiss is unlike anything they’ll ever experience again. In the NBA, the first day of training camp comes with a similar sense of anticipation and hopefulness. It’s the day when all 30 teams in the league are standing on similar footing. It’s when everyone is undefeated, literally and metaphorically. [Read more...]
Oct. 4, 2012
The player that has impressed me the most thus far has been Markieff Morris. He’s like a sponge.
That’s the first thing I noticed about him. I always stay after our workouts and get some extra work in, and the first two days I looked to the side and saw him just sitting there watching.
That’s a sign of a player that wants to be better, has a plan, and wants to be really good in this league. He went from watching the first couple days to getting in there and doing drills with me.
You could tell that he wanted to get in and work hard. I was impressed with a lot of guys, but I was probably most impressed with him because he is a young guy with a very hard work ethic. You don’t see that a lot in our league.
It’s my position to really help guys, not only on the court, but away from basketball. Mentally if you’re there, you’re going to get better physically.
Oct. 3, 2012
The Suns training staff is just unbelievable. They do a lot of things that I haven’t seen in a while.
This is a billion dollar business, but you’d be surprised, certain teams don’t go to the extent of keeping those entities healthy to win games. The routine on a day-to-day basis is not always the best.
It’s like an assembly line in a factory, where you go down the line and everybody’s touching you. You go from one person to the next to the next, until you’re ready.
But Grant Hill sold the Suns’ training staff to me and the importance they put on being healthy. Grant and I went to Germany for the treatment and started talking about that. And then Jared talked more about that to me in Vegas.
But coming back all started with going out to Germany and getting that treatment. It went phenomenal.
I did a four month training session to try to change my body, change everything about it. It was like starting with a clean white board.
Instead of working out like I have done in the past, it was like starting over as if I was a rookie. The more I got into the workouts, the better I felt. I started noticing that I got lift again.
It wasn’t just my knee, it was more mental. I had to ask myself: is this really what I wanted to do going into my 17th season?
But the more I got into the summer, the better I felt. I told teams that I had a due date that I wanted to get to before I decided to play.
And I did…
Oct. 2, 2012
Day one of training camp!
Entering my 17th NBA season, I’ve obviously participated in a lot of them, but I’m really looking forward to this one because it’s different. It’s a new system for me, new teammates, a new philosophy and a new challenge, which is what our league is all about. [Read more...]
Camping isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, especially when it’s cold and rainy outside. See, I grew up in a family whose idea of roughing it was staying at a local motel rather than a national hotel chain. It’s not that we were hoity-toity, quite the contrary; we just weren’t what you’d describe as the outdoors type (we barely even hung out in our backyard, let alone the woods). Despite my aversion, after 28 years I’ve finally found a type of ‘camping’ that fits my style. Phoenix Suns training camp.
Instead of a tent, I have a curtained off section of Grand Canyon University’s Thunder Alley (which, after some intense investigation, I found out is in fact not named after Dan Majerle). In place of the tall trees of the forest, I’m surrounded by the tall players of the Suns and instead of wild animals lurking, there are wild college students and sleep deprived reporters all around. It’s my kind of ‘roughing it.’ [Read more...]
We had our intra-squad scrimmage tonight. It was a little sloppy, but that’s to be expected with the first real scrimmage. It was good to get out there and try to work all the kinks out, and it was fun to get out there and play in front of a crowd. I think the fans had a good time and hopefully you enjoyed the game if you watched it online.
Speaking of having a good time, we had a team dinner last night which was cool. It was nice to sit down and just relax together after working hard all week. We initiated the rookies, too, making them do some embarrassing things.
Welcome to another exciting season of Suns’ basketball, fans! It’s amazing how quickly the offseason goes by – training camp begins this week and before you know it, we’ll be tipping off the regular season in San Antonio on October 29th.
As always, the Western Conference promises to be deep and competitive, but we feel we have the talent to compete with anyone. Obviously, there have been significant additions made to our team this summer, and I wanted to let you know my thoughts as the season gets underway. [Read more...]