Diante Garrett Called For Traveling

Diante Garrett #10 of the Phoenix Suns drives against the Sacramento Kings on March 28, 2013 at U.S. Airways Center.
(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

Suns guard Diante Garrett is no stranger to surprises. After finishing a four-year career at Iowa State last year, he found himself in France instead of the NBA. In fact, in his second year in the pros, he surprised many people back in October by simply making the Suns’ roster that already was home to three point guards.

While he’s used to the unexpected, even he has to find his travel schedule over the last five days a little out of the ordinary. Last Friday evening he was on the bench in uniform for the Suns versus Warriors game at US Airways Center. By Saturday he was on a plane to Bakersfield to play in the final game for the D-League’s Jam and by Sunday evening he was back in Phoenix on the team’s bench once again. The trip was a productive one as Garrett scored 32 points, dished out six assists and grabbed six rebounds for the Jam while qualifying to be on their playoff roster as well.

His traveling didn’t stop there though. On Monday afternoon he left with the Suns for Houston, Wednesday he was in Houston and on Thursday night he’ll be in Austin, Texas playing for the Jam in the D-League Playoffs.

Six cities in as many days. For most of us, we’d view that as a crazy travel schedule. For Garrett, he views it as a chance for professional growth.

“It’s an opportunity for me to get a chance to go out there and play really,” the point guard said of being assigned to the D-League twice in a week. “I was playing with them earlier in the season so we have a good rhythm and chemistry already. I went down there the other day and the chemistry never really left. It’s going to feel real good to go play in the playoffs and play for something. I think it’ll be a good experience.”

It won’t just be playing in the playoffs that feels good for Garrett. It will be getting a chance to step on the court during live action that will be beneficial as well. In his rookie year in the NBA he’s only had the opportunity to play 135 minutes since October. It’s a difficult situation for a young player looking to prove himself and grow.

Garrett has kept the right attitude through continuing to put in the work necessary to be ready to play when his number is called.

“You have to be prepared for getting your chance to get out there and play,” he said of finding out he was going to play in Bakersfield on short notice. “I knew I was going out there and was going to play a lot of minutes. They told me we were only going to play six guys.”

He’s embracing the situation, regardless of the travel on short notice, and seems excited for playing time, especially in the playoffs.

“I’m excited to go out there and see how the atmosphere and intensity is like,” he said. “It’ll feel good.”

Just don’t be surprised if he has a major impact on the Jam’s playoff run and raises some eyebrows back here in Phoenix.