Hey guys!

So this morning, Slovenia held a press conference at the airport, before boarding a plane to Turkey. Nothing that special was said, but still wanted to translate a couple of quotes, if anyone's interested, and also link to a picture gallery for all you Goran stalke..i mean, fans.

The story headline is an actual quote from today's press conference. It was said to lighten up the mood of course, but still, going to the Worlds with the attitude that they are not the best is not a great sign in my opinion. Frankly, it looks like they are deliberatly lowering expectations of the fans. Relax guys, we all saw, or read about your preparation games. Our perception of the quality of play can only go up (loved that animation movie by the way).

Quotes:

Jaka Lakovic: "Me, being a captain of the team, does not add any extra pressure to my game. I had important role in the past, so i'm used to it. I know many expect us to come back with a medal and that's understandable, but the question is, is it realistic? The team will be pleased with the top 8 spot. We have a good and confident team."

Primoz Brezec: "We're ready. We got some challenges before us. The first one will be the game against Tunisia. We watched their game against France and they are not a bad team. The game against USA will not be that important to us, we need to focus on other teams. Our goal is a 2nd place in the group."

Bostjan Nachbar: "I can't promise any wins, but i can promise a right attitude. I am happy we will once again have a home support in attendance (note from Blaz: about 3000 Slovenian fans are expected to make the trip). That makes playing that more pleasureable and we are grateful."

There were couple of more quotes, but nothing spectacular, and since i can't find a quote from Goran, i know you guys don't care for anything else :).

Here is the link to the gallery (Goran looks smooth). Scroll down for the pics:

Gallery

 

Blaz


PHOENIX — When the Phoenix Suns hired Lon Babby to head their basketball operations department, he immediately set out to find a “basketball genius” talent evaluator to complement his front...

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Watch the Lance Blanks introductory press conference in it’s entirety below. President of basketball operations Long Babby and head coach Alvin Gentry also answer questions.

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"I told him, feel free to give any suggestions and we'll sit down and talk and discuss personnel and we'll discuss playing time and all that right there," Gentry said. "Ultimately, I'm going to play whoever I think's going to win games for us."

As for the busy summer the Suns had prior to his arrival, Blanks said "They look like solid moves to me, and as Lon said, if the thing works out, thank God that he and I are here, and if it doesn't, I don't know what these guys were thinking about." (Everyone laughed here.)

Gentry made it clear who was really responsible for the moves, "It was all Robert. I wasn't me. He's not here to defend himself. So it was all Robert."


Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill, right, and Steve Nash (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

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Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill, right, and Steve Nash (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

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We've got a little bit of Suns news to whet our appetites this morning.

Read about former Sun David Griffin in his search for the holy grail, a long-awaited introduction to our new GM, and... drum roll please... many of the Suns are already hitting the court together, including some big names.

Summer is almost over, folks!

Hit the jump link...

David Griffin still in search of the Holy Grail

Am I the only one who thinks Griffin is, possibly, overstepping his own bounds in the search for the perfect GM job this summer?

As of yesterday, he has publicly recused himself from 2 GM openings in the last 2 months, while still actively job-hunting. At least in terms of the Nuggets, that's a lot of hours invested in a man who ultimately turned them down.

I love what Griff did for the Suns organization. He was promoted from within, starting as a video coordinator and ending as VP of Basketball Operations in 18 years of work. He has been afforded a lot of respect, working alongside successful GMs in Bryan Colangelo and rookie Steve Kerr (lets forget the crash-n-burn D'Antoni as GM era for the moment).

But can a "never higher than #2 man" really afford to hold out for the perfect "#1 man" GM job? Especially with Kevin Pritchard, Tom Penn, Mark Warkentein, Rex Chapman and a host of equally well-liked #2s across the NBA ready to snap up the rare autonomous GM jobs as soon as they appear?

One of two things are going to happen at this point: (a) he never gets that dream GM job he thinks he deserves, or (b) he DOES get it, but now the expectations are higher than they should be for a rookie #1 which ultimately shortens the leash on his reign.

 

Lance Blanks, finally

It feels like he was hired eons ago, yet we've never heard the man speak. If a tree falls in the forest, did it really make a sound? Our own Jared Dudley couldn't remember the man's name the other day in an interview.

Well, today that changes. Blanks will be introduced as the Suns GM in a press conference at noon. I'm sure Seth "I've got a press pass and you dont" Pollack will be on-hand to record and transcribe/analyze the presser if you miss it.

Hopefully, he'll mention that he's got a plan for a backup only-play-in-case-of-injury big man signing. But other than that, we're really in a holding pattern till training camp starts. And Blanks' first tough decision likely won't come until next February.

 

And you thought Sarver was a bad owner?

Get a load of this. Sarver looks like an angel compared to Michael Heisley of the Grizzlies. They didn't even touch on the fact that the Grizzlies withdrew their qualifying offer from Ronnie Brewer this summer, 3 months after giving up a future first-rounder to get him from the Jazz.

(note the comment regarding our new backup PF Hakim Warrick)

 

Players are arriving at the arena!

The Phoenix Suns twitter account announced that several players were in the arena on Tuesday, doing some on-court and conditioning work.

Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Josh Childress are the latest names to hit the court. Others have been there since mid-August: Gani Lawal, Robin Lopez, Earl Clark and Matt Janning.

Coming next week, for sure, are Hakim Warrick and Jared Dudley. According to his twitter account, Duds is playing full-court pickups in Vegas right now, dominating the competition. He plans to come to Phoenix over the weekend. And Warrick mentioned in my interview last week that he's planning on hitting the practice court right after Labor Day.

Turkoglu and Dragic are playing in the World Championships, so don't expect to see them till training camp.

That leaves only Richardson and Frye unaccounted for. Last year, JRich arrived the week after Labor Day. Frye has been doing charity work via a kickball tourney as late as last week. Since he already lives in the Valley, expect to hear of him joining the pickup games sooner than later. Surely, Warrick will want his only pre-signing Suns friend on the court with him no later than next week.


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