Training Camp Overseas:Suns in Treviso, Italy
January 1, 2006
The NBA Europe Live Tour has given the Phoenix Suns a great opportunity to bond with teammates during training camp.
The venture overseas has also been great for players like Leandro Barbosa who enjoy spending time with their significant others.
The Suns head into Venice for one more evening before leaving for Rome.
The Suns wrapped up their final day in Treviso with a little bit more sightseeing.
Suns center Pat Burke takes to the high seas of Europe.
It didn't take long for STAT to learn that in some parts of Italy, the watertaxi is the best way to travel.
Raja Bell and his wife Cindy also spent some time together in one of the world's most romantic cities.
The Bells have been married since July 2004.
Since arriving in Europe, the Suns sharpshooter has been welcomed by all.
Raja has made a new friend in Treviso.
It doesn't take long for Raja to learn that touring Italy is just as tiring as a Suns practice.
Leandro Barbosa meanwhile spends his final hours in Treviso with his girlfriend, Jill.
The Suns are so big in Treviso, some fans have even asked them to pose for photos with their pets.
The Suns are ready to depart Treviso, Italy.
Next stop for the Phoenix Suns will be Rome, where the team will play their first game of the preseason.
Jill and Cindy can hardly wait for that exhibition game, set for Friday night.
Boris Diaw makes sure to get some final snapshots in before departing.
A late-night snack is always the norm in Europe.
An arriving Leandro Barbosa is ready for Day 4 of Suns training camp in Treviso, Italy.
Head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson helps Bell unwind before heading to the court.
Diaw also gets in some stretching along with assistant athletic trainer Erik Phillips.
Shawn Marion gets in his final stretches before basketball begins.
Swingman James Jones looks to make a play defensively during the Suns scrimmage.
Marion and center Pat Burke battle for position.
Steve Nash takes a quick moment to catch his breath.
Shawn Marion and Gilberto Benneton, Director of Benneton Group, cut a cake with the Benneton Treviso and Suns team logos as part of a team dinner.
Suns owner Robert Sarver presents Benneton with a basketball signed by team members.
Benneton poses with former Italian League player and current Suns Director of Player Personnel Vinny Del Negro and Suns star Steve Nash.
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni addresses the crowd before the Suns intra-squad scrimmage at Palaverde in Treviso, Italy.
Nash always draws robust applause no matter where in the world he is introduced.
Military personnel stationed in Italy enjoy the action of their favorite NBA team.
Members of the Armed Forces Network crew hold a banner signed by the Suns.
Italian fans show their support for the visiting Suns.
Even outside Phoenix, the Suns are the hottest ticket in town.
Assistant coach Marc Iavaroni draws up a play during scrimmage.
A tired Pat Burke is just about ready to "throw in the towel."
Shawn Marion has his eyes on the prize as the team continues to get ready for their Halloween tip-off to the regular season.
The Suns' Managing Partner Robert Sarver and Vice President of Player Programs David Griffin can hardly wait for that October 31 contest against the Lakers.
Former Suns center Mark West discusses the scrimmage results with legendary Celtics center Bill Russell.
Following the scrimmage, Burke talks with the press.
Steve Nash shows fans in Italy he's always willing to stick around to sign an extra autograph or two.
Fans worldwide appreciate the game of swingman James Jones.
Former Sun and current Director of Player Personnel Vinny Del Negro is still a fan favorite in Italy.
On Day 4, Suns forward Amare' Stoudemire returned to the hardwood and didn't seem to have missed a beat.
Suns players, like Raja Bell, are doing everything they can to stay in top shape during training camp.
Suns guards like Leandro Barbosa and Marcus Banks refuse to let up during practice.
NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell takes in the Suns practice.
Players take a quick moment to catch their respective breath.
Nash makes sure to get in some shooting as practice comes to an end.
Following practice, Suns center Pat Burke and rookie Davin White take a moment to sign autographs.
With practice in the books, Suns players are free to discuss how they plan on spending the rest of their day.
Backcourt mates Raja Bell and Steve Nash wrap up their day of practice.
Normally on the other side of the lens, NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein takes a quick photo with Boris Diaw.
The Suns took some time during their trip to Treviso to run a brief basketball clinic.
Boris Diaw teaches what he knows best - running.
One of the greatest of all-time, Bill Russell was also on hand for the clinic.
Front office personnel, as well as players, are always willing to spend some time with the kids.
Not many are better at teaching the game of basketball than Suns assistant coach Phil Weber.
Mike D'Antoni proves he's just a big kid at heart.
The NBA Cares clinic included many Italian children from the Special Olympics program.
Following the clinic, a presentation was given by many of the NBA's best.
The presentation comes to an end as does a very special night for children and former NBA players both.
On Day 3, the Suns were back on the hardwood again.
Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni says that with a deeper roster, the Phoenix Suns may run even more this season.
STAT still made time to hit the weights on Day 3.
The All-Star then fields the usual questions from the media.
DC comic book writer and long-time Suns fan Adam Beechen lent Suns.com a hand interviewing two-time MVP Steve Nash.
As always, the Suns also spent some time in the classroom watching some film.
Practice lets out allowing players like Phoenix's Boris Diaw a little free time.
Sharpshooter Raja Bell has enjoyed his time in Treviso and is looking forward to playing some preseason basketball.
Steve Nash and Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni talk hoops with one of the all-time greats, Bill Russell, in the hotel lobby.
Guard Leandro Barbosa poses with diehard Suns fan Pablo Cardona, who flew in from England for a day to watch his beloved Suns practice.
Following time talking with the media, Suns players like Shawn Marion got out for a little sightseeing.
Other players like Jumaine Jones spend their time getting in a little shopping.
Marion and point guard Marcus Banks wrap up their day in Venice.
After shopping, Jones finds some transportation via a local watertaxi.
Jones, the Matrix and rookie Davin White head back to their hotel following a very busy day.
Members of the Suns coaching staff such as Alvin Gentry are also getting a taste of life in Venice.
Al and Georgia McCoy get in some sightseeing before departing for Treviso.
The Suns' wives spent Sunday morning at the Hotel Cipriani in Asolo learning about Italian culture and architecture.
The wives also spent time outside Asolo at a temple sculptured by the great Antonio Canova.
The day concluded for the Suns wives with a vineyard tour.
Mike and Laurel D'Antoni spend some personal time together in Treviso.
Italy is where the couple first met back when Mike was a rising star in the Italian League.
As a player in Italy, Mike was known as the "Registra" for his ability to direct teammates.
Mike is still recognized throughout Italy for his success as both a player as well as a coach.
Suns forward Shawn Marion spends some downtime exploring a glass factory in Venice, Italy.
The all-star has made his selection.
The Matrix then takes to the high seas as another practice is just around the corner.
According to legend, Venice was founded in 422 by Roman refugees fleeing from the Goths.
The residents of Venice have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mike D'Antoni and the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix isn't the only city in the world which appreciates the Suns.
Even the Player Personnel & Scouting Department is well represented thanks to Vice Presidents David Griffin and Mark West as they take in a little sightseeing.
American movies filmed in Venice include "The Italian Job," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."
Popular churches in Venice include Basilica di San Marco and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
Main sights in Venice, Italy, include palaces, churches and a number of bridges and canals.
The Grand Canal is arguably Venice's most important waterway.
Venice is home to approximately 400 bridges.
Suns assistant coach Alvin Gentry is already enjoying his time in Venice.
Suns forward Eric Piatkowski takes a moment to enjoy the surroundings.
Waterbuses and gandolas are the most popular methods of getting around Venice.
Just about everything in Venice is on the water, including McDonalds.
Smart cars include a number of great features and provide less air pollution.
While gandolas are popular among tourists, waterbuses are perhaps the fastest mode of transportation in Venice.
The Wests enjoy a little time in the streets of Venice.
Last season with Charlotte, Jumaine Jones averaged a career-high 10.5 points per contest.
Before departing for Italy, a number of players expressed interest in sampling the overseas cuisine.
Two-time MVP Steve Nash enjoys dinner with Raja Bell and Amare Stoudemire.
Following the team dinner, Piatkowski sneaks in an extra piece of birthday cake.
Following the team dinner, it's time for the Phoenix Suns to enjoy a little nightlife.
On Sunday, Suns players returned for their second practice session in Venice, Italy in as many days.
Players break down a little game film prior to practice.
Suns center Kurt Thomas and point guard Leandro Barbosa study the game film provided by the coaching staff.
Suns assistant coach Marc Iavaroni addresses the team before they take the court.
Marcus Banks and Pat Burke talk basketball during Suns practice.
STAT shows off his All-Star form as he slams it home for two.
As are some players, a number of strength-and-conditioning coaches will also provide blogs while in Europe.
Suns players line up and get ready to do what they will do all season long - run.
The Matrix looks to get things going offensively for the orange practice team as Jumaine Jones gets a hand in.
The Brazilian Blur lays it up inside the paint.
David Griffin (M) discusses the practice with minority invester & consultant Steve Kerr and Director of Player Personel Vinny Del Negro.
Following his workout, STAT takes a photo with two young fans.
Upon arriving in Treviso, Italy, the Suns did not have long to get settled as they headed to their first practice.
Eric Piatkowksi listens in on the team's agenda for the remainder of the day.
The Matrix is ready to play some basketball.
Offseason acquisition Marcus Banks is also looking to get in on the action.
Banks spent time in both Boston and Minnesota last season and is glad to have found a new home in Phoenix.
Forward James Jones and center Pat Burke get in their final stretches.
Boris Diaw - who has spent much of the summer in Europe - is happy to have rejoined his teammates on the court.
Two-time MVP Steve Nash multitasks and gets in a little soccer practice, as well.
Coach Gentry instructs Steve Nash as practice gets underway.
Stoudemire looks in full form as he throws it down for two.
STAT is set to launch for the start of the 2006-07 NBA season.
Mike D'Antoni and All-Star Shawn Marion share a laugh as practice comes to an end.
Following practice, the players hit the weight room, further proving it's all business in Italy.