While you are struggling with near 100 degree weather in Phoenix, the Suns are in San Diego living it up at the beach and chilling at the gym. In San Diego it will be about 73 today but that doesn't mean there's not a hot flash of competition running through Suns training camp as the battle for one starting job heats up.
Question: Was that the worst transition in the history of the written word? Or was it the worstest?
Intrepid beach comber Paul Coro shares this nugget from his plastic bucket of shells:
Are you surprised? You should be...if you've been living under a rock and not paying attention to this team. In other words, not a surprise.
Always good for an interesting quote, here's J.D. dishing a bit about that ball hog, Steve Nash:
"We've just put in new offensive sets that even cater more to my game than when Steve was here. It's a read, where it's more of a basketball IQ. Before, it was Steve makes a play and Steve decides who scores."
I'll leave the detailed breakdown and analytical comparison of Dudley vs. Brown to someone else. Here's my condensed recap of that hot, hot, fierce competition.
Jared Dudley: Tweets well. Smart. Shoots threes. Can't dunk (despite what he thinks).
Shannon Brown: Married well. Shoots (too many) threes. Can dunk. Can't create (despite what he thinks).
Who's your choice for the starting job?
Do you put Shannon on the floor with Goran and Beasley for a
pretty awesomely athletic threesome and save Jared's savvy and leadership for the bench unit. Or maybe you want Dudz on the floor to provide a nice calming presence in between still skittish (at times) Goran and Beasley's Beasleyness.
We all know the Suns have not developed their own young players well in recent years.
Last year, the Suns signed former NBA guard Lindsey Hunter to lead their player-development staff, and brought in Mercury head coach Corey Gaines to help. This summer, they asked Mark West (still an executive with the Suns) to work with the Markieff Morris.
Now, they have brought in two more retired big men to help this month, beginning with Ralph Sampson.
"With the addition of Ralph, we now have a development staff of experienced NBA veterans who can help each player at every position on our roster, on and off the court," said Suns General Manager Lance Blanks. "We are excited to have a Hall of Famer and a person of Ralph's character and integrity around our players every day. Robert Sarver's commitment of resources will allow us to return this organization to elite status."
Sampson will work with the young players and travel with the team during the season, focusing mostly on post players.
"The opportunity to work with an organization like the Phoenix Suns was one I could not turn down," said Sampson. "This situation is the right fit for me because of the great people involved, the great location, and because I believe in the direction of the team. Robert Sarver, Lon Babby and Lance Blanks are building something special."
Paul Coro spoke with Sean Rooks, a long-time NBA big man, this week in San Diego.
The Suns released assistant coach Bill Cartwright after last season and sought a younger big man to bang in the post with Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris. Rooks, 43, is a willing teacher, having strived to get to an NBA bench after being a D-League assistant with Bakersfield, Calif; New Mexico and Sioux Falls, S.D.
"I've still got all of 270 (pounds) on me," Rooks said. "I can definitely lean on somebody.
"I'm just happy to be with the organization. It's nice to be back in Arizona. This has been what I've been working toward."
Yay for Robert Sarver investing in player development!