You good folks on the interwebs can follow along right here on this open thread. And judging by how many people watched the summer press conferences live, I bet a few of you will be here today.
Our own Jim Coughenour (in the red shirt), last year at the "scrum":
Suns.com has pics of the "scrum" as well, including one with Kris in there (blue, striped shirt, when he was writing for SB Nation Arizona), and here's one with me in there (black shirt) thanks to azcentral.com. There's lots more with me and Kris, just not front and center. Our video camera failed that day, so we lost our exclusive pics and interviews... not naming names or anything. Jim.
Major story lines for the day:
We will get a lot of cliches and non-answers...
There might be some fireworks out of Media Day, and we'll be there to cover it. We've already gotten major full interview exclusives this summer from Jeff Hornacek (Jim), Mike Longabardi (Sreekar), Channing Frye (Kris), Alex Len (Sreekar) and Archie Goodwin (Sreekar).
Today, the coverage continues with Kris and I at Media Day and throughout the week at training camp.
Before the Suns could put together any kind of press release or formal announcement, Channing Frye decided to tell everyone the scoop.
As far as I can tell, he started with me (at least on twitter).
And then he told the twitter world:
Frye began disclosing his progress last month, when he tweeted that he was about to find out one way or another, and then a week later he told us all on instagram that he was cleared by doctors.
Bright Side had the exclusive interview with Frye as he discussed his situation and the next steps, which included the Suns doctors clearing him for active play.
I must say that this is a big, scary step for the Suns and Channing Frye. An enlarged heart is a problem. An enlarged heart as a result of a unknown virus is an even bigger problem. Channing had to take most of a year off of ANY kind of activity that would raise his heart rate.
Last month, when he was cleared by his doctors, he began to raise his activity level and reported that his heart got even better.
"I saw [the doctors] earlier this summer and they said 'you're good', and that I could start to exercise," Frye recalls. "Saw them a couple months later and 'You're better than what you were'. Not only one doctor, but three other ones, maybe four other ones agree with me.
"Now its in the Suns hands."
And now it appears that Channing Frye will don the new Suns uniform at the annual media day tomorrow as an active player on the Phoenix Suns roster.
If the season ends today for the Phoenix Mercury, how do you measure the successes and shortcomings? Ponder on that for a minute...
The superlatives this season for the Mercury have been repeated ad nauseum with their radical change and improvement that pushed them to this point; The Western Conference Finals. Right now they are one win away from continuing the season. One win away from continuing the season and living to fight another day.
That is all this game is about.
How are the Mercury going to handle a desperate situation where their backs and seasonal livelihoods are on the line?
The Minnesota Lynx are hungry, like every team, but the Mercury have to be starving. That is the mentality that is required in these unique situations.
At this point in the season it is about mental preparation and coming in with the right mentality to overcome the odds that are currently stacked against the Mercury. They have their back against the wall against the best team the WNBA has seen in years. This season the Lynx have given their lion's share of lickings to the Mercury with six wins and zero losses so far with an average margin of victory of 17.16 points per game.
All season this team has done things the hard way and it shows on the court. Despite winning game one on the road they didn't close things out at home, doing things the hard way.
All season when things looked good, the team found a way to make the game of basketball harder than it needed to be. With all the talent in the world an 0-3 start put them in the hole early. A five game winning streak was immediately followed by losing seven out of eight games. There is nothing easy about the way the Mercury play basketball and execute on the court.
They have no rhythm. In spurts, in moments, the Mercury have looked like Mozart in his element keying away the notes as Diana Taurasi makes plays and changing frequencies as Brittney Griner alters shot after shot.
As a team the Lynx rarely force the issue and have a relapse becoming selfish or individualized despite having the talent to do so, they balance everything out with teamwork.
For the past two seasons (third in 2011) the Lynx are at the top of the WNBA in terms of team assists and points scored. They are a machine in the way they execute offense, get everyone involved, and systematically defeat opponents by distributing the ball and making the right passes.
Against the Mercury in particular; the Lynx are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Australia).
Disrupting that rhythm is key to the Mercury getting another tough win and, despite it being the done the hard way, that is exactly how the 2013 Phoenix Mercury do business. This entire season has been a prelude to this moment. Another tough challenge that could have been avoided, yes, but nevertheless is right in front of the Mercury literally at their doorstep.
In game one the Lynx leaned on the great play of Lindsay Whalen with her 20 points and 5 assists as she directed and conducted a near flawless performance.
Throughout the entire season the dynamic duo of Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus were plenty enough to win 26 games and give teams fits. Then when you add in Whalen to the equation as she carved up the defense and took everything the Mercury were willing to give them. With the ultimate conductor and masterful performers like Augustus and Moore the Lynx have marched though the Mercury all season.
In terms of talent and leadership the Mercury are the Lynx equal, but have yet to find that right tune against them.
Finding more than just moments against this tough, musically inclined Lynx team is paramount for the Mercury to continue their season. Rhythmically for the Mercury this game can get out of hand be exactly like the previous six encounters, unless they come through beating the metaphorical gong knocking the Lynx out of tune.
How do you measure the successes and shortcomings if the season ends today? Then again, how do you measure them if they win? Ponder that for a minute...
The Phoenix Suns decided that 17 players weren't enough to survive a 5-day training camp and 3-week, 7-game preseason schedule. So they added an 18th player, and 9th guard, to the roster for competition.
While Nunnally's chances to make the Suns regular season roster are quite slim due to the guaranteed nature of everyone else's contract, it's always fun to watch players compete for playing time. Nunnally is one such underdog.
After going undrafted last year, 6-7 swingman James Nunnally (Tweet him at @AllorNunn21 to wish him well in Phoenix!) went to the D-League to further develop his talents. While he did not star for the Suns' affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam, Nunnally created a niche for himself that has become popular in the NBA.
Nunnally is the ultimate 3 and D player who can spread the floor offensively (shot 40% from 3 last year) while being able to defend some of the best guards the D-League had to offer.
Nunnally scored 13 points per game in only 19 minutes, making his mark on 3-pointers to the tune of 63%. Nunnally's best game was a second-half surge in the Vegas Semifinals against the Suns that helped Miami erase a 20+ point deficit in short order.
Also, that little video helps to remind starving Suns fans of (a) Suns basketball and (b) a winning SL team that almost took home the Vegas crown (reportedly a pair of Elvis sideburns).
As Kris says, the Suns need shooters. Hopefully, Nunnally can show his defensive moxie while continuing to make threes at a torrid pace. While he might now survive to the regular season, Nunnally has an opportunity to advance his dreams of an NBA career.