One-on-One with Summer Sun
While Summer Suns forward Pape Sow is mostly known for his physical and up-tempo style on the court, his rollercoaster ride to the NBA is not.
After his 2004 NBA Draft rights were acquired by the Raptors, the 6-10 Cal State-Fullerton alum played in 27 games his rookie season and then 42 in his sophomore year before a groin injury curtailed his momentum.
In 2005-06, Sow rehabbed and re-established his reputation with Arkansas in the NBA Development League, where he dropped 40 points against Fort Worth and posted a 27-point, 24-rebound night against Austin. It earned him a call-up back to Toronto, but finding playing time in Head Coach Sam Mitchell’s system was easier said than done, especially after a summer vertebra injury limited the big man to just seven games for Toronto last season.
Now a year later, he's bounced back and is trying to make a dent in the stacked Phoenix Suns roster with his recent showing in Las Vegas.
Suns.com: A lot of kids out here trying to make a dent in this team, but you've got three years of experience over them. Does that help you out here?
Pape Sow: That really doesn't mean anything. You’ve just got to come and work hard, prove yourself and show people you belong on the team. But if you come out here thinking you're a three-year veteran and you're going to get a job that easy, it's not going to work out like that. You've got to work the same way they work -- work hard and may the best come.
Suns.com: The time you spent in Toronto, it seemed like your minutes just tailed off. Was that a product of the turbulence between then-General Manager Rob Babcock and Coach Mitchell, was it the injuries or a little bit of both?
Sow: I don't really know. The only thing I can tell you is now I just go work hard every single day and try and get better. But what they're going to do and whatever decisions they decided to make, I don't know a thing about it. I'm only worried about trying to get myself better today.
Suns.com: How do you like the Suns' system? Does it cater to your style of basketball?
Sow: I love it. To be honest, I love the Suns and how they play. They're moving everybody, running everybody and everyone's touching the ball and helping. That's a good situation for me.
Suns.com: What would you bring to the table for the Suns, should you make the roster?
Sow: It’d be the same things I used to do – bringing toughness, defense, rebounding, hustle plays and whatever else I can do to help my teammates.
Suns.com: What do you think you need to work on to get there?
Sow: I need to work on shooting the ball – 15- to 18-foot jumpers. I've been working on it, and it's getting a lot better. But I'll keep working and get stronger, and I think everything will be all right.
Suns.com: Anything you want to tell people that they may not know about you?
Sow: Hey, Pape's back and healthy, and everything is all right now. I'm just gonna come out and show people out there that I'll play the same way Pape used to play. No fear – none at all.