Suns Retorter: Tucker Happiest Player Ever Fined
When you’ve played for 10 different teams in numerous countries since 2006, anytime a general manager calls you it likely catches your attention faster than TMZ responds to a Miley Cyrus incident.
That was the case for P.J. Tucker on Wednesday. With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching and rumors flying around, the Suns all-hustle forward was minding his own business running some errands when he got a phone call. The name on the caller ID was that of Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough.
“I called P.J. and it went to voicemail,” McDonough said told Suns.com. “I didn’t leave a message, I was just about to text him and ask him to call me back. P.J. called me back.”
McDonough’s call was a fairly innocent one. He was just letting his forward know of a fine that the league had just handed down for a flopping violation. Tucker didn’t know that though and due to the timing it made for an uncomfortable few seconds.
“It was right at that time,” Tucker said of the call. “There is already a little tension. I was totally not thinking about it. I was coming out of the dry cleaners. I looked at the phone and was thinking ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’
Within seconds of noticing the missed call he was on the line with his general manager proving it’s not just on the court that puts forth maximum effort. He does it while dialing too.
“I noticed P.J. was a little short of breath, breathing a little heavy,” McDonough said with a smile. “Then the light went on in my head. I said ‘P.J., we’re not trading you. That’s not what this call’s about.’ Then he said ‘Thank goodness, man. I love it here. I was so nervous.’”
In the moment it must have been nerve racking for the former Texas Longhorn. He thought there may be yet another stamp in his basketball passport, but after the fact he found the humor in the situation. Even if he was surprised everyone else found out.
“I can’t believe he told that story,” Tucker said with a smile and shaking his head in disbelief. “I had about 10 or 15 text messages when that came out.”
The story has a happy ending as it won’t be 11 cities in seven years for the man who some lovingly refer to as The Garbageman, even if he is lighter in the wallet because of it.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever been happier to be fined than P.J. Tucker was when I told him, ‘The good news is you’re not being traded, the bad news is that you are getting fined.’ And I think he was glad to pay the fine if he could stay here in Phoenix,” McDonough said with a smile.