Meet The Press: Suns Media Day Gives Personality To The New Faces

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Basketball Never Stops was an appropriate slogan in 2012 as just a few months after the Olympics teams are set to head off to Training Camp. Before doing so the Phoenix Suns met the press giving personality to the seven new faces on the roster.

In theory all Media Day is for NBA Teams is a check mark off of the list that gets the season started. Voluntary workouts, check. Media Day, check. Training Camp, next up on the docket.

Before they get out to Training Camp which is located in San Diego this year, the seven new faces and collective team all met at U.S. Airways to get the season started on a positive note. The upper level decision-makers made an appearance as well discussing how the team was put together.

Once you get past all the glad-handing and seemingly forced, contrived over-the-top positive natured puns all of the players got pretty down to earth with expectations of the upcoming season. Nobody is expecting a Championship run, but the ceiling for this team is so undefined it creates an aura of excitement.

Some players really enjoy this atmosphere like Mr. JMZ himself Jared Dudley and B-Easy Michael Beasley taking the time to interact not only with the media, but also with their teammates before the shuttle takes off for "work." This was the opportunity to get a feel for the team, especially the newcomers to the roster that range from Goran Dragic to P.J. Tucker.

Those new faces are a part of what makes this one of the more interesting teams in quite a while as Lon Babby tempered expectations with this analysis, "I think we answered a lot questions this summer. We put a finer point on answering the question of do we have a plan (for the post Nash-era). The concept of getting bad in order to get good, I am not capable of coming to work every day and lead a group of people and they look me in the eye and say they are trying to lose. Even if it is trying to lose to get better."

Hearing it put into those terms helps ease the blow of losing out on the potential of a Top 5 pick in this past year's draft, but it did cost them a Top 5 pick in this past year's draft. Most of the frustration of late comes from the team drafting between 12-14 year-in-and-year-out after consistently finishing just short of the playoffs.

Blowing it up and building from scratch is appealing on the surface, but for every Oklahoma City Thunder there are about 10 Charlotte Bobcats. In theory that is a good theory, but in reality it is a crap shoot to expect Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden in the Top 5 of the lottery because you could wind up with Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, and Adam Morrison in that scenario.

Putting together this team the way they did was always Plan A as Babby was focused on putting a competitive team on the court night in and night out. This obviously derails the path to becoming a Championship contender quickly, but it also allows the team to remain competitive in the short term. Despite whiffing on Eric Gordon in the off-season this is the team that the collective minds of Lance Blanks, Alvin Gentry, and Babby wanted to put on the court.

It was essential to have an active off-season bringing in Wesley Johnson, Luis Scola, Jermaine O'Neal, Kendall Marshall, Beasley, Dragic, and Tucker to round out this roster.

Looking at the moves as a whole this is a very talented team compared to last year with some minor experience playing together individually, but as a collective unit half this team is new and the other half are the role players left behind in the wake of Steve Nash and Grant Hill exiting stage L.A.

There is already a lot of chemistry on this team as they have been working out and interacting for about a month getting ready for the season. Playful gesturing and joking was abundant with Telfair saying it is going to be "war" with Marshall for playing time at the one and veterans Scola, Dudley, and Dragic poking at the rookie with a few verbal and literal jabs.

No question this team has the personalities to make for a light atmosphere keeping the team from tensing up under the pressure of being the first wave in a new era of Suns Basketball.

The team now departs for San Diego to begin the process of evolving from 18 names on paper to an NBA team competing for the playoffs in the Western Conference on the court. Is this team on par with those L.A. teams? No, but they are a collection of talent working towards being on that level in the near future.

The comradely and energy is there now for the team as they get ready for the next check off the list leading to the beginning of the 2012-2013 season and the challenge is going to be sustaining that for 82 games.

Training Camp Roster

Num.

Roster

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Exp.

0

Michael Beasley

SF/PF

6-10

235

4

1

Goran Dragic

PG

6-3

190

4

2

Wesley Johnson

SF

6-7

215

2

3

Jared Dudley

SG/SF

6-7

225

5

4

Marcin Gortat

C

6-11

240

5

8

Channing Frye

PF/C

6-11

245

7

10

Diante Garrett

PG

6-4

190

R

11

Markieff Morris

PF

6-10

245

1

12

Kendall Marshall

PG

6-4

195

R

14

Luis Scola

PF

6-9

245

5

17

P.J. Tucker

SF

6-6

224

1

20

Jermaine O'Neal

PF/C

6-11

255

16

21

Solomon Jones

C

6-10

245

6

22

Othyus Jeffers

SG

6-5

210

2

26

Shannon Brown

SG

6-4

210

6

31

Sebastian Telfair

PG

6-0

170

8

40

Luke Zeller

C

6-11

245

R

50

Ike Diogu

PF

6-9

250

6

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