New Nuggets guard Randy Foye eager to get a taste of Denver

Pepsi Center is latest stop for veteran 3-point specialist
by Aaron Lopez

Attention downtown Denver dining establishments: You might want to extend your hours after Nuggets games this season.

Randy Foye will be seeking to become one of your regulars.

Playing for his fifth team in six seasons, the veteran shooting guard enjoys familiarizing himself with a new city by visiting a different restaurant after each home game early in the season.

“I like to get out and get the feel of each city,” Foye said. “After the first 10 games that we play at home, I’ll find a place that I like and I’m comfortable with and I’ll decide to go there (for the rest of the season).”

Stops in Minnesota, Washington, Los Angeles and Utah during his seven NBA seasons have allowed Foye to sample dozens of culinary options. He also has feasted from the perimeter, becoming one of the league’s top 3-point threats.

After finishing tied for 25th in 3-point percentage (.343) last season, the Nuggets acquired Foye as part of a three-team sign-and-trade deal with Utah and the Golden State Warriors on July 10.

Foye made a franchise-record 178 3-pointers for the Jazz last season and shot a career-best .410 from beyond the arc. He was one of only five NBA players to shoot better than .400 from 3-point range while taking at least 400 attempts.

After recently celebrating his 30th birthday, Foye feels as though he just starting to hit his stride.

“I’ve become smarter in reading the defense,” he said. “If they turn their head, I’m sliding to a spot where I’m open. It’s all about work ethic. After practice, you see me shooting with the guys, challenging them, because 3-point shooting is a big part of this game, as you see in the playoffs. You have slashers, but you can stop them. When they kick it out, guys like me can keep the floor spread.”

In addition to leading by example after practice, Foye has emerged as a vocal leader early in training camp. As the team gathered at midcourt after a recent practice, he and fellow veteran Nate Robinson emphasized about the importance of staying focused and staying together.

“He’s naturally stepped to the forefront in terms of leadership on this team,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. “There’s been times a guy has hung his head and he’s gone over and consoled him and let him know that you have to take constructive criticism. That’s what we want to see. If Randy provides that for us, that’s great.”

Shaw played for seven teams in his 14 NBA seasons, so he can relate to Foye’s nomadic journey. Instead of viewing it as a negative, Foye takes pride in the fact that his services are valued by so many.

“As of now, I’ve been on five teams, and I have all the jerseys (hanging) up,” he said. “It’s good for your kids to see, your grandkids to see. Thirty years from now they’ll look back and say, ‘Man, pop-pop played for a lot of teams and did work.’ ”

It wasn’t until Shaw joined the Los Angeles Lakers 11 years into his career that he finally won a championship. Foye hopes he doesn’t have to wait that long.

“I’ve proven myself thousands of times in this league,” he said. “Now, it’s just about going out and winning. That’s the biggest thing – winning and helping the young guys – keep on passing the torch. I’m trying to show these guys that you have to work hard every day to be successful and have longevity in this game of basketball.”

As Foye can attest, winning makes every postgame meal taste better.