At my first NBA Media Day, I did not know what to expect. We arrived way too early and used the time to put together our plan of action. Jim and I would take turns asking questions versus playing dutiful camerman.
This was to be the first time we had used the official BSotS video recorder, so we really hoped it was even working. Somehow, Seth forgot to leave us the BSotS sleeve for the microphone, so all we had to identify ourselves was the SB Nation Arizona sleeve. Seth, wherever you are, give up the sleeve!
Promptly at 10am, the players started arriving. The secondary players were available most of the time, while the bigtime players were ushered in one at a time to allow for the press to focus on each. Marcin Gortat went first, Michael Beasley last.
At the beginning, it was a scrum to get the microphone close enough for audio. But then the players made themselves available, between photo shoots, for one-on-ones. Each had a Suns rep with them to try to control the pace.
Our first solo interview was with P.J. Tucker. He was a very nice, down-to-earth guy. Solidly built. He talked about doing all the little things to get time on the court when you're not the best player on your team. I will post individual articles on each interviewee, after we dissect the audio/video.
Markieff Morris is tall. Really tall. Appears bigger than Gortat to me, but then Gortat was never standing within a foot of me either. Later, Elston Turner talked about Morris needing to be more consistently aggressive this year, and mentioned how Morris is smaller than most of his counterparts. So maybe it was just an optical illusion after all.
There was a great spread of catered food at one end of the room, and I found time to track down Randy the caterer for our old buddy Seth. Seth wanted to say hi, and ask if Randy missed him. That's the only guy Seth wanted me to say hi to.
The great surprise came when Suns President Lon Babby talked to us (me, Jim and Mike Schwartz of VotS) for a long time. I kept expecting him to want to move on, and I even turned off the mic at least twice during the 20+ minute interview. It wasn't as much as interview as it was Lon giving us very thoughtful, complete answers to our questions.
Apparently, Lon knows BSotS very well, and Jim Coughenour's work in particular. I don't think Lon heard my name when I introduced myself, so Jim got most of his attention. On one hand, he appreciates Jim's mastery of the English language. On the other, he wished Jim would use his superpowers more often for good rather than evil.
It was a great interview, actually. Lon expressed a desire for even-handed coverage of the Suns during their year of transition. He talked about the summer moves in depth, and expressed his belief that the Suns are definitely "more talented than they were a year ago", up and down the roster. He finished the thought by saying that we don't know how many wins that means, but he was happy with their work.
Jim and I got in some good questions in the groups, and had exclusive interviews with half a dozen players. We will break down what we have and dole it out to you as soon as possible.
I come away from the Media Day with more optimism than I've had in a long time. This team does have talent. Now Gentry just needs to make it all work.