Green Uses D-Backs Game for Team Bonding

Barry Gossage/NBAE

Fresh off a disappointing loss and with an extra day between games, Gerald Green was set on finding something for him and his teammates to do together.

In the end, he only had to look next door.

The Suns joined in on opening day of Major League Baseball on Monday, attending the Diamondbacks’ home opener against the San Francisco Giants. The players brought families in what ended up being an all-fun, no-hoops night out.

“It’s always good, especially after the tough game we played, to get together and just let your hair down, man,” Green said. “Not have to worry about talking about ‘whose defensive rotation is this? Whose offensive assignment is this?’ It’s all about just team bonding.”

The move could pay dividends for a team that is at its best when playing loose and free. The morning after the baseball game saw Phoenix deadlocked in a three-way tie with Dallas and Memphis for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference, with Golden State hovering just 1.5 games ahead of them.

The congestion in the standings makes wins seem like inches gained, losses like miles lost. Veteran forward Channing Frye appreciated the added perspective a night off/out gave him and his teammates.

“When you take a day away, you get away from the gym and you look at it, okay, in the last 10 games what are we, 8-2?” Frye said.

Indeed, the Suns’ previous six-game win streak was second in the league to San Antonio, a stretch made even more impressive by its timeliness as the season winds down.

For one night, though, the Suns allowed themselves to think lighter thoughts, such as Frye’s pleasant surprise at his teammates’ local support.

“I was shocked to see so many Diamondbacks jerseys [worn by teammates],” he laughed.