Checking in With Channing
Posted: May 11, 2012
For a team in the playoff hunt, the final week of the season is never dull. But this past season, things appeared to be even more bizarre than usual for Suns forward Channing Frye.
After injuring his shoulder in a contest against the Nuggets on April 21, Frye missed his team’s final two ballgames and was forced to watch Phoenix fall just short of reaching the postseason. Add into the mix that his wife would give birth to their second child just two days following the injury, and you can see why the former Wildcat will need to catch his breath a bit over the summer.
Suns.com caught up with Frye this past week to discuss his recent shoulder surgery, his offseason plans and what the experience of that final week of the season was like for him.
Suns.com: I know it’s only been a week, but how has your summer been going so far?
Channing Frye: The summer’s been pretty uneventful so far. I went to a wedding for my buddy’s best friend, but other than that it’s been a whole lot of resting. I’ve got my arm in a sling which is limiting my exercise, so I’ve just been helping out around the house as much as I can.
Suns.com: You obviously had a wild finish to the season between the injury and becoming a proud parent once again. Can you talk about what that week was like for you?
Frye: It was both the happiest and saddest week ever. As players, we put so much work into our summers and into our season that you want to be ready to go for every practice and play in every game. So it was tough for me not to be out there competing, but the tear was pretty serious and it was probably for the best to not go out there and make it worse.
I felt as a team we gave ourselves a chance there at the end to make the playoffs and potentially produce something special but fell a little short. I do think that will work as extra motivation over the summer to continue working on our games and continue getting better.
Suns.com: You recently tweeted about seeing The Avengers. What were your thoughts on the film?
Frye: Awesome movie! I’m not as big a comic book guy as Robin (Lopez), but I’m definitely a big comic book guy. For me, just being able to see those movies and seeing them done right is awesome. I had a great time seeing it and am looking forward to seeing it again with my wife.
I had some reservations heading in only because sometimes you can saturate some of the characters and their true character traits when you incorporate that large a cast, but I thought it was a great movie. I’m a big Hulk fan and at first I was kind of upset they couldn’t bring Edward Norton back, but the actor who replaced him in this movie was awesome. And of course Iron Man was great from a comedic standpoint.
Suns.com: Another comic book blockbuster is right around the corner in Dark Knight Rises. Do you think that film will be better than The Avengers?
Frye: I don’t know. Marvel and DC are different in the fact that Marvel isn’t as dark as DC. They’re a little happier and incorporate a little more fantasy into their stories. That’s why I think they each appeal to different audiences. The Batman movie will be a little bit darker and will focus on concepts like making hard, emotional decisions. I think The Avengers is more about lifting spirits, which appeals more to the masses.
The Dark Knight Rises will definitely be a great movie and I’m looking forward to The Amazing Spider-Man too. It will be interesting to see if they are able to keep that same trend of following the comic books. (Laughs) This is going to sound weird, but I’m also looking forward to the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie. It’s just one of those movies you have to see.
Suns.com: Other than watching Abraham Lincoln take out vampires, what other plans do you have for these next few months?
Just a couple more weddings, but it’s pretty much about staying in the sling for these next three weeks to make sure I get my shoulder working correctly.
I’ve got my kickball tournament coming up on July 21st in Portland and I’m really excited to see where that goes this year. It’s a great time and we enjoy seeing people come out for a good cause.
Suns.com: Where did the idea for that come from?
I ran a golf tournament in Phoenix and had a great time. But everybody seems to run golf tournaments, and I thought to myself, “What do I like to do?” Kickball seemed like something that would be easy for everybody and most of the time you can’t get hurt doing it, so it’s a good reason to be outside.
We’ve had some ups-and-downs trying to work out the kinks, and I think this year we’re keeping it simple and have a better understanding of what people want to do. They want to hang out in great weather, eat good food and listen to good music. Usually after that, they’re good to go.
Suns.com: Have you been keeping up with the playoffs so far?
Frye:: Without a doubt. (Laughing) I haven’t been able to do much else.
Suns.com: Which series have you found to be the most intriguing?
The Clippers series has been a lot of fun to watch. I thought the Grizzlies would bounce back from that Game 1 loss with a sense of urgency, but it’s really been a battle for them. I think some of that has to do with the fact that the Clippers are playing much better basketball than they were at the beginning of the year.
For the most part, if you look at the other series, they’ve all played out pretty much the way they were expected to go. I think now the matchup I’m looking forward to the most is the Pacers and Heat series. I think those teams match up very well together, and I think Roy Hibbert is going to be the player to watch. If he can get between 20 and 25 points with 10 rebounds a game, he can maybe establish himself and give the Heat some trouble.
I think the Pacers are one of the tougher teams in the NBA, because you know what you’re going to get from teams like Boston and teams like Miami. But the Pacers have so much talent, they’re still young and they’re playing without pressure. I think another factor could be that the Pacers have already gotten accustomed to traveling back and forth between Indiana to Florida. They’re used to that trip and now we’ll just have to wait and see if they can keep it going.