Hey, Suns fans. I had some time in between ballgames today and just wanted to check in following a tough loss last night in Los Angeles. We were obviously short-handed for the contest following the trade and while I’m not somebody who really believes in moral victories, I was glad to see us out there fighting hard to the end. The bottom line is we still came up a little bit short, but we again showed improvement and I definitely think we’re continuing to take steps in the right direction.
Speaking of taking steps in the right direction, I’m definitely happy to see my former teammate Jason Richardson now on board following yesterday’s trade. I think everybody is excited although it’s definitely tough losing teammates like we did with guys like Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary. You grow a bond with your teammates in this league, and they really do become like your family. Any time you lose family members, you’re hurt and saddened about it, but like they say, this is a business and I think the important thing now is to focus on having Richardson here.
I had the opportunity to get to know J-Rich well from our time together in Golden State, and he really is a great person on and off the court. He goes out there and always gives a full effort, and I really think he’s going to help our team. Our greatest on-the-court memories together are obviously from that 2007 playoff run which saw us upset the Mavericks in the Opening Round. We had a lot of talent with that Warriors team, but he was still our go-to guy and it’s exciting to bring somebody like that in to a team with so many great players. I think the situation for J-Rich was a little tougher in Charlotte than with Golden State. Not being with a playoff-caliber team, he faced some more double teams and had a lot more attention on him. Here with Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal, that isn’t going to always be the case. He’s going to get opportunities for one-on-one play which is where he’s most effective.
Fans are really going to enjoy having him here. J-Rich is really an exciting player to watch. He and I came from a system which was very similar to the run-and-gun fans have seen from these Suns and I think if they’re patient, they’re really going to enjoy watching us get up and down the floor. I talked to Jason yesterday, welcomed him to Phoenix and let him know that if he needs anything not to hesitate giving me a call. While we were with the Warriors, our families also grew close and I also wanted to make sure he knew we were here for them with open arms and ready to help with anything in regards to housing or all of the other things that come with changing cities.
As far as this deal from the Bobcats’ end, I think Charlotte is going to enjoy the additions of Bell, Diaw and Singletary to their roster. Raja and Boris are a pair of veterans accustomed to winning, and the organization is hoping that attitude will become contagious. Raja was the heart and soul of this team, so he will definitely be missed. Boris meanwhile has a wealth of talent, as does Sean, who is still very young and has a long future ahead of him. I wish all of those guys the best of luck.
We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow with introducing our newest Suns, Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley, but I just wanted to thank you guys again for all the support. We know there have been some ups and downs this season, but hang in there and stay with us. We’re definitely making improvements, and I really feel this trade is going to put us where we need to be. Stay tuned.