The wait is over…for fans, anyway.
As for the players, the ones who will sport the Suns’ new threads, their excitement over the new look is rivaled only by their eagerness to play well while wearing them. Eric Bledsoe, Alex Len, Caron Butler, Archie Goodwin and PJ Tucker were impressed with the new look. They were impressed by the fans that came to see it.
After catching up with them after the show at Fashion Square Mall, it was apparent they’re just as ready to impress right back in the upcoming season. Nevermind that it’s the middle of August. For different reasons, each of the five weren’t talking like they’ve got plenty of vacation left.
Eric Bledsoe has a boatload of optimism, prompted by his untapped talent, behind him. Frankly, he’s eager to see that part of his career…well, behind him. He’s ready to fulfill that potential, which he’ll do in the Suns’ new threads. His summer has been, in one word he supplied, “work”.
“I’m trying to get better, even better than i did last year coming off the bench,” Bledsoe said. “[I'm] trying to increase that 10 times more, trying to come in and have a big impact on the game.”
There’s No. 5 overall pick Alex Len, who between rookie orientation and surgery rehab hasn’t been as visible as the other new summer arrivals. It had to be unintentionally torturous to walk around without a boot, don a jersey…and still not play.
PJ Tucker’s summer has been the opposite of Len’s. The 28-year-old veteran volunteered for Summer League duty. He’s hit the practice court as hard as anyone can, working with head coach Jeff Hornacek and his staff to hone his 3-point shot.
In an improved look, Tucker is hoping he’ll show off an improved stroke from outside.
“I can’t be content with where I finished last year,” Tucker said. “I’ve got to try to make the team better by working on my game.”
Goodwin now has another jersey to his collection that started as a kid (hey, he’s turning 19 on Saturday). Like the fans, he’d been waiting for his first real pro jersey, especially after being forced to don practice versions while other rookies sported their regular uniforms at orientation last week.
As excited as he his for this offseason milestone, he’s even more amped to answer the hype that has built since his scintillating Summer League performance.
Finally, Butler tackled Thursday’s unveiling the same way he’s done everything else this summer: taking it in stride, enjoying the moment.
After a summer of quality time with his five kids, he’ll be getting back to taking care of his teammates, which in truth are kids compared to the 11-year veteran.
Suns fans may have thought the wait ended Thursday on the walkway. Just know that the team is just as eager to follow up with an even better performance on the hardwood in a couple months.