Welcome to the Reporters' Notebook, your online home for Phoenix Suns news and notes, odds and ends, and all sorts of misc. tidbits worth mentioning. Whether it's an inside scoop or just an inside joke, Suns.com's staff of writers will fill you in on your favorite Suns' activities throughout the year.
Humphries Takes Coaching Job in Reno
Posted: Sep. 15, 2008
Jay Humphries spent the 2007-08 season with the Suns and will now coach in Reno.
Former Suns player and assistant coach Jay Humphries will soon be back on the basketball sidelines. This past week it was announced that the 11-year NBA veteran will coach the NBA Development League's Reno Bighorns team into its first season.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to establish a winning tradition here in Reno and put a quality brand of basketball on the court,” Humphries told the team’s Web site.
Before joining the Suns for the 2007-08 campaign, Humphries spent five seasons coaching in the Korean Professional Basketball League in South Korea. The former guard who spent time with the Utah Jazz lists Jerry Sloan as one of the most influential coaches in his career.
Majerle Co-Produces Independent Film
Posted: Sept. 4, 2008
This was Majerle's first attempt at producing a feature film.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Always known for his ability to shoot on the court, Suns Ring of Honor member Dan Majerle is now helping others shoot off the court – movies that is.
The three-time All-Star co-produced an independent film titled Jake’s Corner, that is premiering at Scottsdale’s Cine Capri tonight at 6:30.
The film, which was written and directed by his friend, Jeff Santo, tells the story of an ex-football star's secluded desert life that was upended when a family tragedy forces him to look after his young nephew. The plot was loosely-based on Santo’s father, Chicago Cub third-baseman Ron Santo, whose parents died in a 1973 car crash on the way to see him play in spring training.
In Majerle’s first foray into Hollywood, he learned that it wasn’t all just glitz and glamour.
“The biggest surprise in undergoing this whole process has been how much hard work it’s been for Jeff Santo - who is a great friend of mine - and the things that he had to go through to raise the money for an independent film,” the former Olympian said. “That was very difficult, especially when he did such a good job with this film but it is still really hard to raise all the money but I’m really glad he was able to do it.”
The film, which stars Richard Tyson, Diane Ladd and Colton Rodgers, takes place in an actual small town in Arizona called Jake’s Corner, located near Payson. Santo said that 90 percent of the people involved with the film had Arizona ties, while 100 percent of the movie was shot within the state.
For Majerle, who has a small cameo in the movie, it was all worth it.
“It’s been a long road, but I’m really happy to be involved with it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great film.”
Suns' First Season-Ticket Holder Dies
Posted: Sept. 4, 2008
The Suns mourn the loss of their inaugural season-ticket holder, Irving Shuman, who was killed earlier this week.
In 1968, the Jewish activist and Phoenix businessman was the first Suns fan to buy season tickets, entering then-General Manager Jerry Colangelo’s office for the symbolic purchase.
“He was so excited about the fact that basketball was coming,” Colangelo told The Arizona Republic. “He was one of the all-time great Suns boosters.”
Kerr, Suns Players Come Out to Support Mercury
Posted: Aug. 28, 2008
Steve Kerr was among those in attendance for Thursday's Mercury game. (NBAE Photos)
After having three weeks off due to the Olympic Games, it came as no surprise so many fans would come out and welcome the Mercury home on Thursday evening as they hosted the Silver Stars. Among those in attendance were a number of Suns players, including Alando Tucker and newcomers Sean Singletary, Louis Amundson and second-round draft pick Goran Dragic. Accompanying the youngsters were Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver, as well as, Suns General Manager Steve Kerr, who unfortunately watched Phoenix fall, 75-54.
“With the exception of the score, it was a fun night out,” Kerr told Suns.com. “It was awesome seeing Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter recognized before the game for their efforts in Bejing, China and the energy the crowd provided tonight was great.”
For Dragic, the live WNBA experience was his first, but as he told Suns.com, it wasn’t the only time he’s enjoyed the Mercury’s style of basketball.
“I first had the chance to watch Diana and Cappie play on television last year during the WNBA Finals,” Dragic said. “They’re a lot of fun to watch and make things exciting for these fans. It’s definitely a special experience getting to watch them play up close.”
STAT Encourages Teens to Go to School
Posted: Aug. 28, 2008
In Phoenix, STAT is always stressing the importance of a good education.
Getting up for school in the morning just got a little easier thanks to Suns forward Amaré Stoudemire. The All-Star recently teamed up alongside the Ad Council, U.S. Army and Chicago-based Cellit for the “Wake-Up Call” mobile marketing program which helps motivate teens to get up and head to class. The program is part of the national “Boost” campaign designed to encourage students to graduate high school.
Parents and peers can sign up to have Stoudemire’s messages sent by visiting boostup.org and can even preview some of the messages to be played the following morning. Among the selections are STAT himself saying, “Good morning. This is Amaré Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns. Just calling to remind you it's time to get out of bed and go to school. Don't make me call you twice!”
Former Sun Wayman Tisdale Undergoes Surgery
Posted: Aug. 27, 2008
Wayman Tisdale is hoping to get back to producing more jazz music as soon as possible.
Award-winning jazz musician and former Suns forward Wayman Tisdale had part of his right leg amputated because of bone cancer on Monday. Tisdale said on his Web site www.waymantisdale.com that removing a portion of the leg would be the best way to ensure that the cancer would not return.
Tisdale also says on the site that by January he expects to be back dancing on the deck of the “Smooth Jazz Cruise” that he hosts annually.
The former forward goes on to say, “There is a lot more music inside me, and once I am back on my feet, I look forward to sharing my joy with my fans, friends and fellow musicians.”
Retired from the NBA since 1997, Tisdale hasn’t been a stranger to the US Airways Center. In 2006, Tisdale performed the National Anthem for Phoenix’s home opener against the Clippers. Last season he returned again, this time to help honor Jerry Colangelo as he was inducted into the Suns Ring of Honor.
Suns fans can wish Tisdale a speedy recover via his Web site.
Suns and Mercury Team Up For Coaching Clinic
Posted: Aug. 20, 2008
The next head coach of the Phoenix Suns recently offered his services at the First Annual Suns and Mercury Coaches Clinic. (NBAE Photos)
On Wednesday night, Suns Head Coach Terry Porter and Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines recently lent their expertise to a number of colleagues during a coaching clinic at the US Airways Center. The two weren’t alone, joined by Suns General Manager Steve Kerr who discussed with youth coaches the importance of putting together a solid staff.
“It was a great night to be able to meet with so many local coaches and share some information,” Kerr said. “We had a really good turnout and really enjoyed hearing what the coaches had to say and hear their questions and thoughts. I think in this process everybody kind of learns from each other.”
Gaines discussed his experience in the game as both a player and a coach, while Porter ran a number of drills on the Suns and Mercury practice court.
“I think the most important thing when you’re talking about coaching youth is making sure a good job is being done in coaching fundamentals,” Porter said. “We made sure we got that across today and also the importance of having kids play the game the right way and I think we did that.”
Suns Dancer Kayla Chosen as KTAR Billboard Girl
Posted: Aug. 18, 2008
Kayla will represent the Suns dancers on KTAR's billboards.
Although the Suns Dancers were just chosen less than a week ago on Suns.com, they are already being put to work in the Phoenix community.
The popular returning dancer, Kayla, just received an offer from Sports 620 KTAR radio station to represent the Phoenix Suns on billboards throughout the metropolitan area. The billboards will be used to help promote the team and the station's broadcasts.
Due to the fact that the representative from the Suns Dancers rotates every season, Kayla will replace another returning dancer, the energetic and curly-haired Brittany B., for this season. At one point and time, at least three current Suns Dancers will have graced KTAR's billboards. Besides Kayla and Brittany B., first-year Suns Dancer Lauren represented ASU's spirit squad on last season's billboards.
In addition to Kayla, other women will represent their respective teams in the Valley. In-game talent Vanessa was chosen to help promote the Diamondbacks, while Dominique was selected to be the face of ASU's spirit squad and Kathy will be featured as the go-to girl for the Cardinals' cheerleaders.
The marketing motto of KTAR is that "It's All Here" and the girls from the different teams will be known on the billboards as the "It's All Here" girls for this coming year.
So be sure to check out photos of Kayla now and be on the lookout for the billboards to appear in the next couple of weeks...
Nash Using Internet for Good Cause
Posted: Aug. 18, 2008
Steve Nash is again doing his part to serve the community, this time reaching out with a new YouTube video.
There aren’t many NBA players more internet savvy than NBA MVP Steve Nash. Over the years the guard has used the World Wide Web to reach millions of viewers, doing everything from making them laugh to offering them a free throw shooting challenge. This time, Nash is using the internet to relay a much more important message.
Nash is currently appealing to the Ontario government to fund expensive treatment for Hunter syndrome, with the Canadian recording a YouTube video urging Queen’s Park to fund enzyme replacement therapy for individuals suffering from the genetic disorder.
“This new treatment is approved in Canada and the earlier a patient receives it, the better chance they have at stopping the progression of Hunter syndrome and having a better quality of life,” Nash says in the video. “Unfortunately, Ontario’s provincial government refuses funding for enzyme replacement therapy.”
The Victoria, B.C., native hopes the video will urge people to ask their politicians for Hunter syndrome patients to receive the therapy now.
Shaunie O'Neal to Launch New Web Site
Posted: Aug. 14, 2008
Never one to hold back, Shaquille O'Neal shows off a few moves on his wife's new Web site.
With Phoenix Suns Training Camp just around the corner, the month of September will be a busy one for center Shaquille O’Neal. It now appears his wife, Shaunie O’Neal, will also be occupied, thanks to the launch of her new video-sharing Web site. The site will showcase children and their talents and is currently set to launch on September 1.
Shaunie told the Associated Press she developed the idea because she wanted to be able to share her own children’s activities with members of her family.
“I get the complaint of ‘Oh, I wish I could see that,'” Shaunie O’Neal told the publication. “There was nowhere I could find that was just safe, where maybe a slip of the finger would take us somewhere where I don’t want the kids to see or hear.”
Fans can get a sneak peak of the site at www.mykidzastar.com, including a video of the Big Cactus himself dancing with his son.
Alvin Gentry Still Glad to be Calling the Valley Home
Posted: Aug. 7, 2008
Gentry will return to the Suns coaching staff for the 2008-09 season.
While next season will introduce Suns fans to a new-look coaching staff that includes Terry Porter, Bill Cartwright, Dan Majerle and Igor Kokoskov, fans in Phoenix were pleased to learn they will also be seeing a familiar face on the bench in assistant Alvin Gentry. The fan favorite known for his outgoing personality decided to stay in the Valley this past offseason rather than depart to New York with former Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni.
The one-time Appalachian State point guard recently discussed his choice to stay in Phoenix in the August edition of Post, crediting not only the team’s chances at going far in the postseason, but the city for helping make that decision.
“I still feel that this team has a chance to win an NBA title if all the cards fall in the right spot,” Gentry told the publication. “I have a love for Phoenix and hope (my family and I) can stay here a very long time.
“This is the third time that my wife has lived in Phoenix and she really likes it here. So we have a special feeling about the Valley.
“The lifestyle, the people and the weather. That’s right, the weather, even in July and August!”
Nash and Davis Appear in Comedy Spoof
Posted: July 31, 2008
No one knew about Nash's ability to do the robot.
Known for his competitive spirit in basketball, Steve Nash has taken that will to win to another arena... internet video trailer challenges. Yes, that's right. The two-time MVP has teamed up with superstar Clippers point guard Baron Davis to do a hilarious spoof of the new comedy "Step Brothers," starring Will Ferrell.
However, whereas most Nash fans wouldn't be able to compete with the heady playmaker on the court, anyone can try to outdo his movie-trailer spoof by uploading their own video to ibeatyou.com.
Although some challengers have attempted to dethrone Nash and Davis with spoofs of "The Dark Knight" and "Star Wars," they are still trailing the dynamic duo by 0.5 points. One could theorize that Nash's nifty outfit, ability to do "the worm," perform "the robot" and cause mayhem around Santa Monica have vaulted him atop the rankings.
However, there is still time so send in your video trailers before October 27!
Nash Makes Appearance at 2008 ESPY Awards
Posted: July 28, 2008
Steve Nash was among those in attendance for the 2008 ESPY Awards.
Steve Nash was among the numerous athletes in attendance at the 2008 ESPY Awards on July 17. Nash did more than just watch the 16th annual ceremony, however. The two-time MVP, alongside actor Samuel L. Jackson, presented the “Arthur Ashe Courage Award” which recognizes individuals who have helped transcend sports. Past winners have included trailblazers such as boxing legend Muhammad Ali and tennis star Billie Jean King.
The recipients were 1968 Olympic Gold and Bronze medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos who raised the "black power" fist on the victory stand during the playing of the National Anthem. The two track-and-field athletes have described their action not only as a representation of the American struggle for racial equality, but the universal struggle for basic human rights.
Lopez Impressive in Scrimmage With Team USA
Posted: July 28, 2008
All-Star Carlos Boozer is among those impressed with Robin Lopez's summer play.
While he’s been drawing rave reviews from the Suns organization since working out for the team back in June, Robin Lopez is already seeing some recognition on a national scale, as well. Thanks in large part to his solid play in the 2008 Las Vegas Summer League, the center – selected by Phoenix with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 Draft – became a late addition to the USA Select Team which scrimmaged with Team USA in preparation for the 2008 Olympics.
Lopez’s selection to the team was the focus of Arizona Republic’s Dan Bickley’s column over the weekend, with the columnist acknowledging the poise showed by the big man despite going up against some of the greatest athletes in the world. Bickley wasn’t the only one surprised with Lopez’s play during the scrimmage, however.
"He's going to be good," Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer told the Republic. "His role will be rebounding, blocking shots, and playing defense, and he does that well already. He's going to be in the league a long time, and if he develops some offense, he may be a force."
As Lopez told the publication, the learning experience will be more than helpful come his rookie campaign during the 2008-09 season.
"I started out playing against primarily college players before my NBA draft workouts, and then I played against NBA players and some trying really hard to get their chance in the NBA. Now, I'm playing against the best players in the world, so yeah, I'd say there was a steady progression there. Either way, you have to go out there and make your presence felt. These players aren't going to give an inch, and if they can, they're going to go at your neck first. So you have to go at theirs."
Nash Looks to Bring MLS Team to Vancouver
Posted: July 27, 2008
Nash assures fans that he won't be suiting up.
(Jeff VinnickNBAE/Getty Images)
Suns point guard Steve Nash has always talked about his love for the game of soccer. And now it appears that he is putting a lot of money where his mouth is.
The two-time MVP is joining the owner of the United Soccer League's first division Vancouver Whitecaps in a bid to buy a Major League Soccer franchise. The Whitecaps hope to bring an MLS team to Vancouver when the league grants two new franchises in 2011.
The Canadian Press reported Nash as saying, "I'm investing my own money, a considerable amount. While I will definitely be far from a majority owner I will have a stake in the club.
"For me the money is part of it. It's only a token of the passion and commitment that I have to see the club come to Vancouver."
The cost of an MLS franchise is said to be between $30 to $40 million. The involvement of Nash will bring instant credibility to an ownership group that is competing against an array of other cities for an MLS franchise.
"He has such a great reputation and a great credibility," Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi told the Canadian Press. "He loves British Columbia, he watched the Whitecaps. Him associating himself with our bid has to give us an edge on other franchises that wouldn't have that kind of individual."
In addition, Nash would become the immediate employer of his younger brother, Martin, who is currently a midfielder for the Whitecaps. But Martin, is reportedly taking it all in stride.
"I don't think that would be a problem," Martin told the Canadian Press. "It's an exciting day for him more than anything. To be on the ownership side is great and we'll see how it goes."
One thing is for sure, the All-Star playmaker has zero notions of trading in his high-tops for spikes once he's done hooping.
"I think my ownership stake would be revoked if I tried to suit up for the Whitecaps," Nash joked to the Canadian Press. "I am going to be a very vocal owner at the games, in the stands, in my seat."
Lopez Added To USA Basketball Select Team
Posted: July 19, 2008
Suns rookie Robin Lopez has been named to the USA Basketball Select Team. (NBAE/Getty Images)
Suns rookie Robin Lopez will join the original 10 NBA players named to the 2008 USA Basketball Select Team to complete the 12-member roster, USA Basketball announced today. Lopez and Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love were selected after stellar performances in the 2008 NBA Summer League, which is slated to wrap up July 20 after ten days of competition in Las Vegas.
The two will remain in Las Vegas through July 24 and will join the USA Select Team that is comprised of youthful NBA sensations and will help prepare the 2008 USA Men’s Senior National Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
As was the case last summer, Oklahoma City head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who served as an assistant with the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team" and who has been a head or assistant coach of six other USA Basketball teams, will serve as head coach of the USA Select Team and assisting Carlesimo for a second straight summer is Toronto Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano.
The select squad will begin training July 20 in Las Vegas and is expected to train and scrimmage against the USA Senior National Team from July 21-24.
Tucker Promotes the Importance of Reading During Break in Las Vegas
Posted: July 17, 2008
Tucker reads to the children of Mabel Hoggard Elementary School.
A little over a year since being refurbished during 2007 NBA All-Star festivities, Mabel Hoggard Elementary School was once again the focus of attention for NBA Cares, as the Summer League took a quick break to help promote reading to Las Vegas youth.
Second-year Suns forward Alando Tucker joined Detroit's Arron Afflalo, Nets General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe and NBA legend Spencer Haywood to read to the students, spend quality time with them at child-sized basketball hoops, and enjoy a healthy lunch with the children and their families.
Suns' Double-Double in Latest Edition of "POST" Magazine
Posted: July 9, 2008
Terry Porter graces the cover of the July edition of "POST" Magazine.
(Josh Greene, Suns.com Photos)
Check out the July issue of "POST" Magazine (on sale now) for an article on new Suns Head Coach Terry Porter. Between his long-running NBA relationship with Steve Kerr to his lack of time to play golf in the “golf capital of the world,” Porter also shares his memories of matching up against the likes of Grant Hill and Shaquille O’Neal during his playing days.
Porter said in the article, “Shaq, towards the end when I was in San Antonio, his Lakers beat up on us pretty bad on the way to back-to-back championships.”
Also featured in the issue is an interview with Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo, who after three years of putting together the USA Basketball Men’s National Team, is gearing up for his squad’s overseas showing in the Beijing Olympics.
“Everybody wants to be a part of this,” Colangelo said in the article. “So we ask them to check their egos the first day we met. It’s worked, it really has, so it’s very satisfying.”
Robin Lopez Gets Active in Phoenix Community
Posted: July 1, 2008
Lopez signs autographs for a number of happy fans.
(Brad G. Faye, Suns.com Photos)
Just two days after the press conference which introduced him as the newest first round draft pick of the Phoenix Suns, rookie Robin Lopez was again sporting Suns apparel, this time at Suns Camp.
Lopez visited Thunderbird High School in North Phoenix and spent time with kids, signing autographs and helping run a few drills.
“This is great,” Lopez said. “After a weekend of staying in my hotel I was very anxious to get to work and am enjoying getting to know people and getting to know the city.”
As far as what Lopez told those in attendance, the seven-foot center said he spoke from experience.
“I just told them all to take advantage of this opportunity. My mom and I made sure I was signed up for every camp possible when I was younger, sometimes doing two at once. You’ve
got to work hard and take advantage of opportunities like this whenever possible.”
Nash Hosts Charity Soccer match in NYC
Posted: June 25, 2008
Nash is trading in his sneakers for spikes.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos
Two-time MVP Steve Nash has invited his celebrity friends from the world of basketball and soccer to play in a charity soccer match in New York City on June 25 at Nike Field on Chrystie Street in Chinatown. The match begins at 5:30 p.m. ET and is open to the public.
Some of the luminaries that will be participating in the match include the Suns' Leandro Barbosa and Raja Bell, Golden State's Baron Davis, Dallas' Jason Kidd, Chicago's Joakim Noah, French soccer star Thierry Henry and former U.S. national team captain Claudia Reyna. Members of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls as well as former English Premier League legends will also be taking part in the game.
The proceeds from the private auction afterwords will be split between Nash's foundation and Reyna's foundation, which is co-hosting the event with Nash's. The event has been dubbed "The Showdown in Chinatown."
"Football and my foundation are two of my big passions and the chance to bring together guys like Thierry and Baron and Jason and Claudio," commented Nash to ESPN.com. "It's going to be a lot of fun and the best part is that it's free to anyone who wants to come watch us."
Nash's foundation was created to assist underserved children throughout the world in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life,
Colangelo Appears on Doug and Wolf
Posted: June 24, 2008
Colangelo talks about the Olympics on Sports 620 KTAR.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos
Former Suns owner and current Managing Director of USA Basketball Jerry Colangelo appeared on Doug and Wolf's morning show on Sports 620 KTAR on Tuesday. The Ring of Honor member talked about a variety of topics, including the upcoming Olympics, Shaquille O'Neal's rap about Kobe Bryant and the naming of Terry Porter as the new head coach.
After dismissing the Shaq rap as him "just having fun" and saying that he didn't "put much credence into it," Colangelo also went on to do the same with the accusations made by former referee Tim Donaghy towards the NBA. Colangelo said that Donaghy was "negotiating to make a better deal for himself" and dismissed his comments as someone who was trying to improve the legal situation he was in.
Next, the Suns Chairman of the Board talked about the USA's hopes in the Olympics as the no. 1 ranked team. He said that he would have liked to have another post player in the rotation since veteran big men Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett turned down the opportunity to play because they've already participated in the past.
Colangelo believed that when he took over his post at USA Basketball that he needed to change its culture and the image of the team. He believed that if the right attitude was cultivated within the team, success would likely follow. As a result, Colangelo established a first-ever national team, received three-year commitments from players and coaches and tried to rid of the program of any perceived arrogance. He believes that those changes should result in in the team winning a gold medal in Beijing.
Lastly, Colangelo commented on the Suns naming Terry Porter as head coach and how he has been a fan of his since he was a player. He went on to say that he was a "terrific NBA player, a tough guy and a leader." More importantly, Colangelo advised Suns GM Steve Kerr that he needed to possess a good relationship with the person he hired for that position and Colangelo believes that Kerr achieved that goal with the selection of Porter.
Ceballos Makes Appearance at Alumni Game
Posted: June 23, 2008
Cedric Ceballos currently works as an arena emcee for the Suns.
While he did not play in the Ventura College coed alumni game, former Suns player and current US Airways Center emcee Cedric Ceballos still found a way to contribute during Saturday afternoon’s contest.
The NBA All-Star –whose No. 31 jersey is the only jersey retired by the school – wore a wireless microphone for the game and provided a walking commentary throughout.
"This is where I grew up," Ceballos told the Ventura County Star. "When I came into college, that is where my maturity started and the development of how I was going to be personality-wise and as a man. You never forget that."
Majerle to Bench?
Posted: June 20, 2008
A longtime fan favorite in Phoenix, Majerle would be a popular choice as an assistant coach.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)
Media outlets are reporting that Suns Ring of Honor member Dan Majerle may be leaving the broadcast booth to join new Head Coach Terry Porter’s assistant coaching staff. The duo were teammates in Miami for one season with the Heat.
“I think the Suns team will respond great,” Majerle said after Porter was named head coach. “He brings the credentials, not only as a player, but also as head coach. He’s been with the Pistons so that brings a lot to this team, and he’ll have the respect of the players right away.
“He was a guy who hit clutch shots – one of those guys you hated playing against but when I played with him in Miami – he quickly became one of my favorite teammates. He’s an all-around good guy, and a guy you want to go into battle with every time. With his size, when you play 17 years in the league, he had to play hard. He was very talented, but obviously he’s more than that. Look at what he did at both ends of the floor as a clutch player, a great defensive player, a leader and just a great guy.”
STAT to Stay Put This Summer
Posted: June 19, 2008
Amaré Stoudemire will not compete internationally this summer.
(Josh Greene/Suns Photos)
According to reports from the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro, Amaré Stoudemire will not be competing as an Olympian for USA Basketball this summer.
Jerry Colangelo, managing director for the USA Basketball senior men's national team, said that the All-Star forward pulled himself out of consideration even though “he’s had an injury-free year… he's a little hesitant on pushing the envelope too hard."
Stoudemire underwent knee surgeries in 2005 and ’06, and had reportedly expressed a desire for a summer break from the game to be fully healthy for the Suns’ 2008-09 campaign.
Click here to read the article on AZCentral.com.
Ainge Appears on Gambo and Ash
Posted: June 19, 2008
Ainge gave his thoughts on his former teammate Porter on Sports 620 KTAR.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images
Former Suns Head Coach and current Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge spoke with Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash yesterday about winning his first championship as a member of the front office. It was Boston’s 17th world championship, but just their first in 22 years.
Ainge talked about how gratifying it was from a management seat to watch the pieces he assembled band together for a common goal. He likened the experience to being a proud parent in that he felt “more fulfilled” watching his players capture a title than winning one as a player himself.
The Celtics GM went on to talk about how Paul Pierce is finally “getting his due” and how Kevin Garnett demonstrated unbelievable leadership this past season. Ainge referenced how Garnett was incredibly concerned with his team’s well-being and relayed a story of how he would unselfishly stay late after practice just to rebound for 21 year-old playmaker Rajon Rondo.
Ainge also praised the hard work and mental toughness of former Sun Eddie House. He credited House for keeping his mind on the game despite falling out of the rotation for a few weeks. He cited how House was able to provide Boston with some huge lifts off the bench in both The Finals and the Playoffs.
Lastly, Gambo and Ash shifted the conversation towards the Suns and the hiring of Terry Porter as their new head coach. A former teammate of Porter’s in Portland, Ainge gushed about how the Suns new coach was one of his favorite teammates of all-time.
“He’s a warrior on the court, he’s a great competitor,” Ainge said. “Nobody will out-compete or out-work Terry Porter.
“I think it is a really good hire for the Suns. I think that the players will respond to him and I think that it is a great opportunity for Terry to go to a team as talented as the Suns. I think the Suns are going to have a great season next year.”
Check out the audio file to hear it all.
McCain Talks Suns on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Posted: June 18, 2008
McCain covered the Suns, Shaq and the NBA Finals during Tuesday's appearance.
Barry Gossage/Suns Photos
Republican presidential nominee John McCain found himself talking NBA when appearing via satellite on Tuesday’s edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." In addition to telling the talk show host he was a fan of the Suns, the Arizona senator also covered last season’s biggest acquisition – Shaquille O’Neal.
“It was pretty clear in the eyes of most of us that they may not have gone all the way without Shaq,” McCain said, “but obviously we didn’t do what we had hoped to do. He’s a magnificent athlete and a great American. I think he’s a great guy. Maybe we’ll do better (next year).”
Nash Looking to Help MLS Expansion
Posted: June 16, 2008
Steve Nash is doing his part to bring MLS to Vancouver.
Suns All-Star Steve Nash has confirmed that he would be interested in helping to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to the coastal city of Vancouver.
The two-time MVP recently said he has been involved in talks with Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Vancouver Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot and former Yahoo! President Jeff Mallett to try and make the goal a reality.
The league will expand to the cities of Seattle and Philadelphia in 2009 and 2010, and an additional two franchises are likely to be added by 2012. Among the other cities expressing interest are Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, Portland, San Diego and St. Louis.
Nash’s brother, Martin, who plays for the Whitecaps in the United Soccer Leagues told the National Post that Steve’s desire to assist Major League Soccer comes as anything but a surprise.
"Soccer is our first-love sport. We grew up playing it and my dad played it and still plays it, so it's just something embedded into us."
Stoudemire, O’Neal on CBS Father’s Day Special
Posted: June 13, 2008
Check out CBS this Sunday (check local listings) to see appearances by Shaquille O'Neal and Amare Stoudemire on Who Made You? An All-Star Tribute to Fathers, a Father's Day special featuring pro athletes talking about how their fathers made them the people they are today. Look for cameos from Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Tony Romo, Danica Patrick, Cal Ripken Jr. and Mario Andretti.
Steve Nash Merchandise Up For Bids
Posted: June 11, 2008
The Steve Nash Classic is an annual event also benefiting The Steve Nash Foundation.
For two-time MVP Steve Nash, the concept of giving back to the community doesn't end with the regular season. This summer, the Suns guard will be auctioning off several items, including a pair of limited-edition Charity Classic '07 custom Nike shoes, complete with red maple leaf embroidery and the date on the side.
The All-Star even signed the size 16 footwear himself, with bidding on the item ending June 24. Proceeds will benefit The Steve Nash Foundation, which assists underserved children throughout the world in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life.
Suns Find Some New Energy
Posted: June 11, 2008
The Phoenix Suns have a new teammate, who brings a lot of energy to the court.
The NBA Development League announced its NBA affiliations for the 2008-09 season on Tuesday, and the Suns and Chicago Bulls have both been partnered with the Iowa Energy. Suns GM Steve Kerr traveled to Iowa this past D-League season and came away impressed with the club and all it has to offer its affiliates.
"I went out to Des Moines and watched a game and met with the ownership there," Kerr told Suns.com. "They have a great facility and they run a really good operation there. They’re one of the more successful franchises, in terms of their business operations. Their facility is as close to an NBA setting as you’re going to find in the D-League."
An affiliate of the Albuequerque Thunderbirds this past NBA season, the Suns assigned Alando Tucker and DJ Strawberry to the D-League on several occasions during their rookie season. With two picks in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Suns are expected to take greater advantage of the minor league system in '08-09.
"We’ll have at least four guys who are eligible to be sent down there," Kerr said. "It’s an opportunity for us to have a really good development environment for our first and second-year players."
Del Negro to Be Named New Head Coach in Chicago
Posted: June 11, 2008
This marks Del Negro's first NBA head-coaching assignment.
Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos
Two days after the Suns unveiled their new head coach in Terry Porter, assistant general manager Vinny Del Negro is expected to follow his lead, when he is officially announced as the new head coach of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
A 14-year professional basketball veteran, including two seasons in purple and orange, Del Negro also served as a TV color analyst for the Suns before moving into the front office.
"We’re thrilled that Vinny is getting this opportunity," Suns GM Steve Kerr told Suns.com on Tuesday. "He’s done a great job for the Phoenix Suns and he’s earned this chance in Chicago."
Del Negro leaves Phoenix a little more than two weeks before the 2008 NBA Draft, although Kerr said it will not hamper the Suns in their selection process.
"We’ve still got all of Vinny’s draft reports," he laughed. "We’re not letting his scouting reports go to Chicago with him."
Bell Gets "Dirty" in The Sporting News
Posted: May 29, 2008
Bell talks gamedays in an article in the latest issue of The Sporting News.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
He may not work the NASCAR pits on raceday, coordinate post-Super Bowl clean-ups or act as handler for the University of Colorado’s 1,200-pound buffalo mascot, but Raja Bell is no stranger to working the “dirty” side of sports – at least according to The Sporting News.
In this week’s issue (on sale now), the Suns sharpshooter is featured in a special section highlighting the “Dirty Jobs” in sports. In addition to probing the shooting guard’s “thankless role of defensive enforcer,” the article breaks down a typical gameday for Bell, as well as his pregame routine – which is anything but.
Jackson to Interview for Coaching Job
Posted: May 15, 2008
Jackson is second all-time in assists.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
The Suns, who have begun their search to replace Mike D'Antoni, will interview former point guard and current broadcaster Mark Jackson for their head coaching position Friday.
Jackson, who is a color analyst for ABC/ESPN and ranks second all-time in the NBA in assists, was one of the lead candidates for the Knicks' position before it was awarded to D'Antoni. The former Rookie of the Year and All-Star spent 17 seasons in the league playing for several teams, including the Knicks, Pacers, Raptors and Jazz.
Suns General Manager Steve Kerr will interview Jackson late in the morning on Friday.
Nash Named AZCentral.com's Best Local Pro Athlete
Posted: May 15, 2008
Nash was voted by the readers for this honor.
AZCentral.com's expert staff made the recommendation for Phoenix's Best Local Pro Athlete, but the readers made the choice. Thier choice for 2008 was none other than Suns point guard Steve Nash. The two-time MVP was honored with that title after hundereds of thousands of AZ Republic readers cast their vote to the local newspaper.
The electrifying playmaker finished in the top 10 of the NBA's MVP voting while also earning Second Team All-NBA honors for the 2007-08 season. He also was named an All-Star for the sixth time in his career and finished second in the league in assists.
Not only did Nash earn praise for his efforts, but the Suns were voted as the Best Local Pro Sports Team in the Valley of the Sun as well.
WATCH NOW: Behind the scenes of Nash's photo shoot
Shaq Thanks Mom in TV Special
Posted: April 28, 2008
Shaq talks about his mom in a new TV special airing this Sunday.
For fans in the Phoenix-metro area, tune in to CBS 5 this Sunday at noon to catch Shaquille O’Neal’s cameo in “Who Made You?” – a Mother’s Day special that features tributes from today’s most famous athletes to their moms. Shaq joins the likes of Michael Jordan, LaDainian Tomlinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Lindsay Davenport, Phil Mickelson, Brian Westbrook and others, as they share stories about how their mothers helped make them the people they are today. Check local listings for more information.
Eubanks to Perform National Anthem
Posted: April 24, 2008
Eubanks is known for being Jay Leno's music director on The Tonight Show.
Guitarist Kevin Eubanks will perform the national anthem on Sunday, April 27 when the Phoenix Suns host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of ther first-round playoff series at US Airways Center. Tip off is set for 12:30 PM.
Kevin Eubanks, best known as the music director for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, is also one of the most prolific guitarists in the country having toured extensively and recorded several solo albums. Known for his affable personality, Eubanks has assumed the role of Leno's sidekick, often participating in skits.
Eubanks holds an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been with The Tonight Show Band since 1992. As a result of living close to Los Angeles, Eubanks has become involved in writing scores for both TV movies and full-length independent feature films.
Sunday afternoon’s Suns-Spurs game is sold out. However, tickets can still be obtained through the Suns TicketExchange on Suns.com, a secure Suns-approved option to purchase tickets from Suns season-ticket holders. Suns fans can also catch the broadcast on ABC or on Sports 620 KTAR.
Steve Nash Auctions Off Trash Talk Sneakers
Posted: April 22, 2008
Help Nash's charity by bidding today!
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Steve Nash and his foundation are running an auction on his website for his environmentally-friendly Trash Talk sneaker. The auction, which will last throughout Earth Day on April 22, will allow those interested in purchasing the shoe the ability to do so by making a tax-deductible donation to the Steve Nash Foundation.
The auction will feature one pair of limited-edition version of the first-ever performance basketball shoe made from environmental waste.
The Steve Nash Foundation's mission is to create healthy environments for children to grow and focuses its energies on kids in British Columbia, Arizona and Paraguay.
The two-time MVP and six-time All-Star helped create the Nike Trash Talk sneaker, which is a basketball shoe made completely out of recycled material, designed to bring a more environmental approach to manufacturing. The shoe features an upper created from leather and synthetic leather waste from the factory floor, while the outsole uses environmentally-preferred rubber which reduces toxins.
The name of shoe is derived from exactly what it is: trash. You can celebrate Earth Day, and donate to Nash's charity by placing your bid today!
Grant Hill Injury Update
Posted: April 13, 2008
“I’ll override that.”
Grant Hill’s response to Suns.com, regarding Head Coach Mike D’Antoni possibly holding him out of Wednesday’s regular season finale after re-aggravating a recent groin injury in Monday’s Suns win was certainly optimistic.
Hill tallied 12 points in just under 13 minutes, before exiting the game in the second quarter after injuring himself on a lay-up attempt.
Regardless of Hill’s availability for Wednesday vs. Portland, D’Antoni feels the NBA veteran should still be able to practice with the team, in preparation for the start of the Opening Round of the NBA Playoffs this weekend.
“To be safe,” the head coach said, “if we need to hold him out, we probably will. He’ll practice Thursday and Friday and be ready for (this weekend).”
Strawberry Plays Role of NCAA Prophet
Posted: April 8, 2008
While Suns rookie DJ Strawberry still has a number of seasons ahead, he may already have a new career plan for when his playing days are finished. The former Maryland guard could challenge famous psychic Sylvia Brown after correctly picking Kansas to win the NCAA Tournament.
At the beginning of the 64-team bracket, several Suns players were asked to predict who would emerge as the 2008 NCAA Champion and Strawberry was the only one to select the Jayhawks.
“They’re having a good season, have some very talented players and are a lot of fun to watch,” Strawberry said several weeks back.
Perhaps Strawberry’s teammates should ask the versatile guard to make one more prediction before the summer – picking Phoenix to take home its first-ever NBA Championship.
STAT to Throw Final Four Party
Posted: April 4, 2008
Suns forward Amare Stoudemire will host a Final Four viewing party at Stoudemire's Downtown Restaurant across the street from US Airways Center on Saturday afternoon.
The “Amare Stoudemire Celebrity Final Four Extravaganza” will tip-off at 2:30 pm and feature a silent auction with a limited edition painting of Amare, courtside tickets for an upcoming Suns home game, and signed memorabilia from Amare's celebrity friends up for bids.
All proceeds benefit the Amare Stoudemire Each 1, Teach 1 Foundation, which comes to the aid of youth and revolves around the concept that each person should be given the opportunity for education, while also being responsible to come to the help of peers in need.
Raja Bell Listed as Day-to-Day
Posted: March 20, 2008
Bell continues to have mild swelling.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Suns guard Raja Bell is doing better than expected after spraining his ankle with 2:57 left in the third quarter of the Suns' road win over the Sonics on Wednesday.
According to Suns head athletic trainer Aaron Nelson, Bell has minimal swelling and will be listed day-to-day. He is considered doubtful for Saturday.
Bell crumpled to the court after hitting his sixth 3-pointer when Seattle's Kevin Durant ran out on Bell during the shot and Bell's right foot landed on top of Durant's foot. X-rays were negative and his sprain has been diagnosed as mild to moderate sprain.
The First-Team All-NBA Defensive Team guard is averaging 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists a game this season.
Suns Dancers Skydive with Golden Knights
Posted: March 19, 2008
Brandi is currently enjoying her fourth season as a Suns Dancer.
As if dancing in front of thousands of fans during each and every home game wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, two Phoenix Suns Dancers recently decided to take their thrill-seeking to a whole new level.
Brandi and Taryn, both veterans of the team, spent a day skydiving with the US Army’s Golden Knights. The Golden Knights were originally recognized by the Army in June of 1961 and have been wowing audiences at air shows and competitions ever since.
“They were awesome and very relaxing,” said Brandi about the Golden Knights. “Once you’re out of the plane, you don’t even have time to get scared. The view was amazing, and I will do this again for sure.”
Boris Diaw to Appear in Tempe
Posted: March 18, 2008
Don't miss your chance for Diaw's autograph.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Suns forward Boris Diaw will greet fans and sign autographs at in Tempe on Thursday, March 20 from 6 to 7 p.m, courtesy of Bud Light.
For the location of this autograph session, log on to Hensley.com for complete details.
Suns forward Boris Diaw, who was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2005-06, is averaging 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game this season.
Don't miss your opportunity to meet one of the most versatile forwards in the NBA!
Shaq Spends a Day at the Phoenix Zoo
Posted: March 14, 2008
O'Neal didn't have to reach as high up as most visitors to feed the giraffes.
Continuing to make the most of his time since moving to the Valley of the Suns, new center Shaquille O’Neal and his family recently enjoyed a special tour of the Phoenix Zoo. The Big Cactus spent some time hanging out with the giraffes, feeding the Zoo’s Asian elephants and even enjoyed the Zoo’s newest animal experience, petting some of the 30 stingrays and sharks occupying Stingray Bay’s pool.
"We really enjoyed having them out on a nice March afternoon," said Phoenix Zoo Executive Vice President Jim Brewer. "Shaq is apparently a ‘zoo connoisseur’ and he and his family seemed to have a great time."
The Phoenix Zoo is the Valley’s largest – and only non-profit – zoo, featuring more than 1,300 animals and several of the planet’s most endangered and threatened species. Stingray Bay, a popular seasonal exhibit, opened in the fall of 2007 and will close in May. The Phoenix Zoo is already planning on bringing back the exhibit again next year in 2009.
Shaq Htichhikes in a Honda
Posted: March 10, 2008
O'Neal's presence was enough to "pimp his ride."
Apparently, if you want to hang out with Suns center Shaquille O'Neal, the key is to follow his enormous black truck around Scottsdale, and then offer him a ride in a Honda Prelude.
A young couple from Arizona was shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square when they saw "The Diesel" attempting to park his gigantic truck. Due to the behemoth-like size of the vehicle, O'Neal was forced to park a half a mile away from his destination. When the couple saw him walking and asked for a picture, he agreed to the photo just as long as he could catch a ride to the Grand Lux.
The couple immediately agreed, which caused the 7-1, 325-pound legend to cram into their Prelude. There was just enough horsepower available to get the three of them to the restaurant, which also set the stage for some humorous snapshots of the incident. It is a perfect example of where being a good samaritan can benefit everyone.
Click here to see some more photos.
KJ to Run for Mayor of Sacramento
Posted: March 5, 2008
Johnson has a slight edge in the early polls.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Renowned for his leadership on the court as a player, former Suns star Kevin Johnson is looking to utilize that same quality in the world of public service. Johnson announced on Wednesday his intention to run for mayor in his hometown of Sacramento.
"We need a change in the city and I believe we need a change now," the 42-year-old said during a Wednesday press conference. "As I went out the last month and talked to people around the city, folks have said to me they believe city government is nonresponsive, tired, uninspired and bureaucratic. They want something different in Sacramento. (They're) clamouring for change."
KJ -- the founder of St. HOPE, a non-profit organization that runs Sacramento Charter High School -- will be challenging incumbent mayor Heather Fargo. Although Fargo is seeking her fourth term as mayor in the June 3 election, a California State University study found that the mayoral race is "wide open."
In that same poll, early findings that were published showed that Johnson held a slight lead over Fargo (29 percent to 28 percent). The residents polled identified the economy, budget and taxes, followed by housing, development and flood control as their main issues.
"KJ," who graduated from Cal in Northern California, holds a place in the Suns Ring of Honor, is Phoenix's all-time leader in assists and free throws, and led the Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals.
Suns Receive Sneak Peak at Semi-Pro
Posted: Feb. 28, 2008
As close knit a group off the court as they are on it, Steve Nash received a special birthday treat recently when his teammates took him to a special sneak preview of Semi-Pro.
The movie, starring Will Ferrell, takes place in the 1970’s and features the comedic actor as an owner/player for the Flint Michigan Tropics of the American Basketball Association (ABA). With the league set to fold at season’s end, Jackie Moon (Ferrell) hopes to prevent his team from folding with it by finishing as one of the four teams who will qualify for the postseason and thus eventually merge with the NBA.
“It was good, Will Ferrell is always funny,” forward Grant Hill told Suns.com TV. “The basketball element was fun and it was nice to come and laugh with teammates while watching a funny movie.”
Semi-Pro will hit theatres nationwide on Friday, February 29.
KJ Honored at 17th Annual Sports Awards
Posted: Feb. 26, 2008
Johnson received the John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award.
Photo courtesy of Alyshia Kisor
Former Sun Kevin Johnson, who has already racked up an array of accolades throughout his career, added yet another to his trophy case this past weekend. On Saturday, he was presented with the annual John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award.
Johnson, boxing’s Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, hockey’s Luc Robitaille and thoroughbred racing’s Jose Santos returned to the limelight on Feb. 23, when these well-known sports superstars were honored and their remarkable careers celebrated at the 17th Annual Sports Legends Awards at The Omni Hotel in Los Angeles.
"KJ," a Suns Ring of Honor Member, three-time All-Star, Phoenix's all-time leader in assists and the league's Most Improved Player for 1988-1989, was the only basketball player of the group to be honored.
The Paralysis Project of America’s annual awards ceremony, which benefits spinal cord research, was hosted by Hall of Fame distance swimmer Diana Nyad.
Robert Sarver a Guest on Sports Business Radio
Posted: Feb. 16, 2008
Robert Sarver likes his chances with Shaq playing center for the Suns.
Among those helping to host the All-Star Game in Phoenix next season, Suns owner Robert Sarver recently spoke with Sports Business Radio prior to departing for this year's All-Star Game in New Orleans. The owner discussed a number of topics, including last season's Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs, the possibility of an outdoor exhibition game next season against the Denver Nuggets and, of course, the deal that brought Shaquille O’Neal to the Valley of the Suns.
“We decided it would improve our chances at advancing farther in the Playoffs this season," Sarver said of the transaction. "We’ve been sold out for 100 straight games and this deal was not about ticket sales, it was about getting over the hump and winning a Championship. He’s a very personable guy and people love him, but at the end of the day the main focus is just trying to win a Championship.”
Sarver believes the move which made Shaq a Sun helps the organization do that, thanks in part to the center's ability on the court and his personality off of it.
“It’ll definitely give us another option and improve our biggest weakness which has been defensive rebounds," Sarver said. “He’s won four championships, he’s respected by players, he’s a good leader and a good role model. I can already see him energizing that locker room. As a team they need to believe they can win and Shaq is going to help us in that area.”
The owner said the plan at this point is for the Diesel to make his Suns debut against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, but that is still subject to change.
“I think that’s the plan but it’s kind of day-by-day. He’s trying to get four or five practices in so he’s more comfortable with the plays and the team. He hasn’t played a game in a few weeks and knows all eyes will be on him so wants to make sure the first game he’s gotten in as much practice as possible with this team.”
Dime Goes One-On-One With the Diesel
Posted: Feb. 11, 2008
Shaq graces the cover of newest issue of Dime.
While one would think it would be Steve Nash most suited for a cover appearance on Dime magazine, it is actually the newest Sun featured on the publication’s latest edition, available now.
The article “I Am Legend” was published before the blockbuster trade that brought Shaquille O’Neal to the Valley, but offers a number of the center’s insights when it comes to his future, the current state of the NBA and his will to succeed. “The Diesel” did not shy away from discussing his ultimate NBA goal of capturing another title… or two.
“That’s the legacy I drive for,” O’Neal told writer Patrick Cassidy. “I have three years left on my contract and I want to go out with a bang. Maybe I’ll end up with five, maybe I’ll end up with four. But I want six. That’s what it’s all about.”
Sporting News Recognizes Efforts of Suns.com
Posted: Feb. 11, 2008
What do Joe Montana’s relationship to Hannah Montana, Topps baseball cards featuring Barack Obama and the new Sunslockerroom.com Web site all have in common? Each was listed this week among items “to know” in the Sporting News.
Every week, the national publication’s “To Know List” gives sports fans seven things they should know to be an expert, and this week the periodical suggests fans take a peek at the Suns’ virtual locker room, which gives the inside scoop on everything from the truth about Dirk Nowitzki’s accent to the difference between fans and Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. You can even play a Suns version of Galaga, where enemy spaceships are replaced by logos of other NBA teams, including the Lakers, Mavericks and Spurs. Log onto sunslockerroom.com now for a glimpse of the Suns locker room and see the site everybody is talking about.
STAT Appears on Cover of Post Magazine
Posted: Jan. 22, 2007
STAT has been giving back off the court.
(Photos by Post Magazine)
Amaré Stoudemire is known for giving other teams problems on the court, but he is rapidly becoming known for solving other people's problems off of it. Stoudemire graced the cover of Post for the talent he has been displaying on and off the court.
The bi-monthly periodical featured his work with his Each One, Teach One Foundation that helps children in need. In the article he talked about the need for athletes to do more than just write a check, but actually interact with the people that are benefitting from his aid.
The rest of the article details his endorsement deals, his upcoming summer and other charitable work he participates in. Check out the latest edition of Post to learn more about STAT!
USA TODAY Names Nash Among Best Suns in History
Posted: Jan. 17, 2007
Two-time MVP Steve Nash was honored this week by USA Today.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
A two-time MVP and five-time NBA All-Star, Steve Nash received another accolade this week when he was named among the greatest players in the history of the Suns, as part of USA TODAY’s series on NBA franchises’ greatest players. Experts including reporters, Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay and former NBA coach Dwane Casey voted in Nash, who currently leads the league in assists with 11.9 per game. Joining the Canadian on the franchise’s all-time roster are Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Connie Hawkins, the all-time leading scorer Walter Davis and all-time assists leader Kevin Johnson.
Nash was also named to the same list via an additional fan poll, as well as in Suns TV analyst Eddie Johnson’s personal poll.
"I think he was the first guy to ever win the MVP whom no one saw coming," EJ said. "He came out of nowhere and put the team on his back."
Nash Jersey Among Most Popular
Posted: Jan. 15, 2007
Nash jersey ranked fifth in most sold.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
The NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com have compiled a list of their most popular jerseys and merchandise sold during the holiday season. Steve Nash's jersey came in as fifth on the list of highest-selling uniforms, while the Suns' were ranked sixth among teams sales.
The Celtics' Kevin Garnett and the Celtics squad were ranked first amongst merchandise sold, while Kobe Bryant and the Lakers were ranked second. Nash trails Garnett, Bryant, Allen Iverson and LeBron James in jerseys sold, while the Suns were ranked behind the Celtics, Lakers, Knicks, Bulls and Heat.
FSN Arizona to Air Suns-Bulls Contest
Posted: Jan. 11, 2007
FSN Arizona will air the final regular season contest between the Suns and Bulls this season.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Originally scheduled to air on ABC, today it was announced the Jan. 27 matinee between the Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls will now be televised by FSN Arizona. The game’s start time remains 11 a.m. Phoenix time from the Windy City and Suns broadcasters Tom Leander and Eddie Johnson will have the call. The Suns currently lead the Pacific Division with a record of 25-11 while the Bulls have been a bit slower out the gate, starting the season 13-20.
In their first meeting this season back on Nov. 15, Phoenix defeated Chicago at the US Airways Center, 112-102. Off the bench, Leandro Barbosa led all Suns in scoring with a game-high 25 points while Steve Nash dished out a game-high 15 assists.
FSN Arizona to Air Feature on Colangelo
Posted: Dec. 19, 2007
Get a Nash jersey and help charity.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Few people have had the impact on a city and its sports scene the way Jerry Colangelo has had with Phoenix over the past four decades. When the NBA expanded to Phoenix in 1968, Colangelo left Chicago to help run the franchise – and nearly 40 years later, the Suns recognized Colangelo with their highest distinction – an induction into the franchise’s Ring of Honor.
As a part of that tribute, FSN Arizona will air Spotlight: Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor, a special 30-minute program that will give viewers a look back of Colangelo’s influence on the Suns, highlights of the induction ceremony and interviews with Ring of Honor members. The show debuts Thursday, Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. on FSN Arizona.
An emotional induction ceremony highlights Colangelo’s time with the Suns from when he arrived to Phoenix with his wife, three children and only $300 in his pocket to the team’s appearance in the 1993 NBA Finals. Viewers will also hear from former Suns stars and fellow Ring of Honor members such as Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Tom Chambers, Dan Majerle, Paul Westphal, Alvan Adams and Dick Van Arsdale.
Spotlight: Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor is hosted by Brad Steinke and will also take a look back at previous induction ceremonies, including those of Majerle and Barkley, as well as a special piece on Suns coaching legend Cotton Fitzsimmons along with an interview with his wife JoAnn.
Suns to Host All-Star Balloting Party at Majerle's
Posted: Dec. 4, 2007
Help STAT make his third All-Star appearance.
The Phoenix Suns will host an All-Star Balloting Party at Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler on Saturday, December 8 beginning at 5:30 p.m.. The party will be held in conjunction with that evening’s Suns-Timberwolves game, scheduled to tip-off at 6 p.m.
Fans interested in voting Suns stars Steve Nash, Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Grant Hill, Raja Bell, and Leandro Barbosa into the 2008 NBA All-Star Game are encouraged to attend.
In addition to voting, members of the Suns Dancers and Adio Sol Patrol along with The Gorilla will be on hand to mingle with fans and give away Suns prizes throughout the evening.
Steve Nash Becomes the Latest “got milk?” Milk Mustache Celebrity
Posted: Nov. 29, 2007
Steve Nash is the latest celebrity/athlete to join the Body By Milk National Milk Mustache campaign. The campaign (also associated with the famous tagline “got milk?”) was created to encourage teens to be active and drink 3 glasses of lowfat or fat free milk everyday to stay healthy, lean and strong.
Other recent celebrities/athletes sporting the iconic 'stache include David Beckham, Beyonce Knowles, Carrie Underwood, Alex Rodriguez and Marvin Harrison.
Steve Nash’s ad hits newsstands December in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine.
Grant Hill Makes Cover Appearance in Local Magazine
Posted: Nov. 27, 2007
Quickly becoming a fan favorite because of his ability in the post, Suns forward Grant Hill recently proved again that he is equally savvy in print after his appearance in the November/December issue of Post PHX magazine. The NBA veteran, who signed with the Suns during the offseason, not only discusses his transition to a new team filled with new personalities, but he and his family’s transition to the city of Phoenix as a whole.
“We like it,” said Hill in the article. “It’s a little weird waking up at 9 or 10 on a Sunday morning and watching football, but we’re getting used to that. I’ve spent my whole life living in the East Coast and my family is from there, so communicating with friends and family back home is a little different. We had to get used to the early calls, but we like it. We like it a lot. There’s a different vibe here, and people are friendly and we’re really enjoying the transition.”
Referred to as a Renaissance man in the story, the All-Star also discusses his collection of African-American art, life as both a father and husband and even politics. But of course no discussion with Hill can be complete without talk about the one goal he has yet to accomplish.
“I want to win (a championship),” Hill added. “I’ve been an All-Star, had my own shoe developed, had commercials, been on a gold medal team, played in championships in college… The only thing left for me is to win an NBA Championship, and I really feel like I have a great chance here.”
The Planet Is Officially Orange
Posted: Nov. 1, 2007
You don't have to look far to see the Suns in popular culture.
(Courtesy of Sony and NBAE)
If you thought you were viewing the world through rose-colored glasses, you were mistaken. Those glasses seem to be orange-tinted, due to the amount of coverage the Suns' new marketing campaign, Planet Orange, has received throughout the mass media.
In the latest ESPN The Magazine, there is a two-page advertisement showing Planet Orange that folds out into a complete six-page ad of Sony Playstation's new NBA '08 video game. Not only does the ad feature Amaré Stoudemire on the cover, but it also incorporates the Planet Orange theme into its design.
The ad teases a video-game version of Stoudemire dunking on the inside flap by displaying the surface of an orange planet and a celestial background on the outside flap. Sony has been vigorously promoting the game and Stoudemire, while adopting the Planet Orange marketing theme to help enhance their own campaign.
The same advertisement has also graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, Hoop and SLAM magazines, proving that the planet is continuing to be painted orange.
Steve Kerr on the Dan Patrick Show
Posted: Oct. 30, 2007
Steve Kerr spoke with Dan Patrick on Tuesday.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Steve Kerr appeared on the Dan Patrick show today. Patrick asked the Suns GM about several things including team chemistry and who Kerr would predict to win the major NBA awards if he were an analyst.
While he was very adamant that he thought the Suns had a great chance to win the NBA Championship in 2008, Dan Patrick asked Kerr to put on his “analyst hat” when selecting the winners.
“If my Phoenix Suns tie is off and I’m in my analyst role, you take the Spurs to win the championship. The reason is they have won 4 championships in the past 9 years and until somebody knocks them off, that’s you who have to pick.” However, Kerr continued, “I think the Suns are going to win the West but if you’re picking as an analyst you have to pick the Spurs because they’re the champs.”
Patrick and Kerr also discussed the other main awards including MVP (LeBron James) and Rookie of the Year (Kevin Durant) during the interview.
Frahm Waived by Suns
Posted: Oct. 24, 2007
Frahm played last season in Italy.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Suns today waived guard Richie Frahm, the team announced.
Frahm appeared in two preseason games with the Suns, averaging 6.0 points and 2.0 assists in 10.0 minutes. The three-year veteran stayed in camp longer than free agents Rawle Marshall and Doug Thomas, who were both waived on October 14. A terrific outside shooter, Frahm once scored 31 points in a game as a rookie for Seattle.
The team’s roster now stands at 13. An updated roster is attached.
Phoenix resumes preseason play Thursday, hosting the Denver Nuggets at US Airways Center on TNT and concludes its exhibition schedule Friday, Oct. 26 against the Seattle SuperSonics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both games begin at 7 p.m. locally and can be heard on Suns flagship Sports 620 KTAR AM.
NBA TV Shows Live Suns Practice
Posted: Oct. 24, 2007
Mike D'Antoni and some of the other Suns talked to NBA TV after practice Wednesday.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Set your recorders! NBA TV today went behind-the-scenes at Phoenix Suns’ practice and will re-air exclusive footage and player interviews beginning tonight at 6 p.m. (9 p.m. ET).
NBA TV took a tour around the league and broadcasted live coverage of four teams' practices during the preseason. Phoenix was the last of four stops on the tour that included New Jersey, Denver and New Orleans.
The coverage of Wednesday's practice will re-air in its entirety four times through Thursday. In addition to Wednesday night's showing at 6 p.m., it will re-air at 11 p.m., 6 a.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Phoenix resumes preseason play Thursday, hosting the Denver Nuggets at US Airways Center on TNT and concludes its exhibition schedule Friday, Oct. 26 against the Seattle SuperSonics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both games begin at 7 p.m. and can be heard on Suns flagship Sports 620 KTAR AM.
MY45 to Air Suns Preseason Special
Posted: Oct. 19, 2007
Alando Tucker and DJ Stawberry discuss their training camp experience during Sunday's Preseason Special. (Josh Greene/Suns Photos)
Get those VCRs, DVRs and TiVOs ready, because Suns Productions has produced another preseason special that will air this Sunday at 6 p.m. on MY45.
The show gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the team as Eddie Johnson sits down with newcomer Grant Hill, and Tom Leander discusses the recent good-natured rookie hazing in Tucson with Alando Tucker and D.J. Strawberry.
The program also gives an inside look at this year’s FIBA Americas Championship which featured Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni, All-Star Amaré Stoudemire and Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa. Fans will also see how two-time MVP Steve Nash spent his summer giving back globally and getting roasted by his teammates.
FSN Arizona Previews Upcoming Suns Season
Posted: Oct. 18, 2007
Grant Hill and the Suns tip-off the regular season on November 1 in Seattle. (NBAE Photos)
Although the regular season doesn’t tip off until November 1, Suns fans still have the chance to go deep inside “Planet Orange” thanks to FSN Arizona’s special 30-minute program, Phoenix Suns Preview, which will be televised over the next two weeks.
The program airs 11 times on the cable sports network, and discusses off-season developments as well as expectations for the 2007-08 season. It also features an extensive sit-down interview with offseason acquisition Grant Hill, who discusses his move out west.
The program also features in-depth previews of other key Western Conference teams and is hosted by Suns TV analyst and Ring of Honor member Tom Chambers and FSN Arizona’s Brad Steinke.
Suns Waive Thomas, Marshall
Posted: Oct. 14, 2007
The Phoenix Suns last night waived forward Doug Thomas and swingman Rawle Marshall. Neither appeared in the team’s first two preseason games. The Suns’ roster now stands at 14.
Phoenix resumes preseason action at US Airways Center on Monday, when they host the Utah Jazz at 7 p.m. Al McCoy and Tim Kempton have the call on News 92.3 KTAR FM.
Nash Appears on Cover of Men's Journal
Posted: Oct. 11, 2007
Nash talks about the influence of his parents, hard work and Gretsky. (Photo by Men's Journal)
As the Suns gear up for a run at the NBA Finals, it seems as if everyone wants to get a piece of First-Team All-NBA Steve Nash.
Nash graced the cover of November's Men's Journal, where the magazine featured the point guard in a six-page article. The monthly magazine caught up with Nash to talk to him about his upbringing, influence on the game and even about his activism.
Nash reflected on the synergy that he has formed with Head Coach Mike D'Antoni since arriving in Phoenix. By adopting a run-and-gun style of play with Nash at the helm, D'Antoni was criticized early on.
"Most coaches haven't got the guts for that, or they try it for a week, and it looks ugly, so they scrap it," Nash said.
In addition, the article also mentions the amount of growth Nash and current MVP Dirk Nowitzki experienced in Dallas. "I really believe that if Stevie wasn't here to help him through those hard times, there's a chance Dirk would have gone back to Europe to play professionally there," Maverick executive Donnie Nelson said.
Check out Men's Journal for more!
Scoring Extra Points
Posted: Oct. 11, 2007
Marcus Banks and Grant Hill go the extra mile off the court. (Photo by frontdoors.biz)
While the Suns are certain to gain much recognition for what they are going to do on the court this season, they have already received a lot of publicity for what they've done off the court.
Frontdoors magazine dedicated a cover and feature article to all of the Phoenix Suns players and their charity work around the world. Besides participating in Basketball without Borders and NBA Cares for the league, many of the Suns have established their own individual foundations and organizations to help the less fortunate. Frontdoors, a monthly on-line and direct-mail newspaper that services the highest socio-economic demographic in Arizona, lists all of the charities that the Suns have founded.
"Every day, all of us --together as individuals-- have an opportunity as citizens to contribute to the vision of what we want to see in the world," said two-time MVP Steve Nash to frontdoors. Grant Hill echoes his sentiments,"You can always write a check, but as an athlete, to go somewhere and be visible, to show up at something, it means more; it's longer-lasting in the minds of whoever is involved."
Hill sits on the National Advisory Council Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, while also co-running the Tamia and Grant Hill Foundation with his wife. Nash heads his own foundation that assists underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment in life.
Amaré Stoudemire has established a charity that also helps children, while Boris Diaw's helps people in his father's native country of Senegal. Shawn Marion set up a free basketball camp for inner-city kids in Chicago and Marcus Banks created a Thanksgiving feast for families in need. Check out frontdoors to learn more about what the Suns are doing off the court!
Hill Enjoying Life With Suns
Posted: Oct. 2, 2007
Grant Hill is healthy and ready for the 2007-08 season to tip-off. (Jeramie McPeek, Suns Photos)
Having already enjoyed back-to-back championship seasons at Duke, co-Rookie of the Year honors in 2005 and five NBA All-Star appearances, forward Grant Hill signed with the Phoenix Suns during the 2007 offseason in hopes of capping off his impressive list of basketball accomplishments with an NBA Championship.
With Training Camp now underway in Tucson, that journey has officially begun as Hill continues to familiarize himself with his new teammates. The All-Star recently sat down with the monthly publication SLAM to talk about that transition as well as his ultimate goal of bringing Phoenix its first NBA title.
“The three highlights of my career were winning two straight championships at Duke and winning a Gold medal,” Hill told the publication. “There’s no greater feeling to know at the end of the season or tournament you are the best. You could debate who the better player is, but you cannot debate who is champion. It’s the best. I always reflect on those three experiences and hopefully I can tell you in June about a fourth.”
Nash Chats With PBS' Charlie Rose
Posted: Aug. 28, 2007
Nash had his number 11 jersey retired by Santa Clara in 2006. (Charles Barry, Santa Clara University)
His guests have included Bill Clinton, Buzz Aldrin and George Clooney. Now, PBS talk show host Charlie Rose can add Phoenix Suns All-Star Steve Nash to his list of accomplished visitors, as well.
The All-Star point guard recently stopped by to discuss a number of topics with Rose, including how a player barely recruited in high school managed to come out of Santa Clara and earn two league MVP Awards. While Nash agrees it makes for a great story now, he admits it was a painful experience in high school not knowing where he would ultimately play his college ball.
“To have nobody knock on my door was disappointing,” Nash said on the program. “I think, first of all, the landscape of recruiting at the time in the game of basketball wasn’t so international. It was a challenge but I had one chance – Santa Clara heard about me through the grapevine and gave me a chance to play college basketball, and I made the most of it.”
Nash played four seasons with Santa Clara, and was the first Bronco since Kurt Rambis to be named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year. Before being drafted by the Suns in 1996, he would finish his career as the Broncos’ all-time leader in assists, free throw percentage and 3-pointers made. The rest, as they say, is history.
Bill “Butch” van Breda Kolff Remembered: 1922-2007
Posted: Aug. 23, 2007
Van Breda Kolff had the shortest tenure as a Suns head coach.
Bill “Butch” van Breda Kolff, who was named head coach of the Suns on June 28, 1972, died Wednesday afternoon at a nursing home in Spokane at the age of 84.
Butch van Breda Kolff accumulated a 482-272 coaching record in 28 college seasons, and was 287-316 in 10 seasons as an NBA and ABA coach. He took six teams to the NCAA Tournament and won seven conference titles. His tenure in Phoenix was quite memorable, albeit for its brevity.
After Cotton Fitzsimmons resigned in April, 1972, to accept the head coaching job with the Atlanta Hawks, Suns General Manager Jerry Colangelo knew what he was looking for in a replacement. The next coach would be working with a veteran team that had grown accustomed to winning and had veteran stars such as Charlie Scott, Gus Johnson, Connie Hawkins, Dick Van Arsdale and Neal Walk.
The Suns needed veteran coaching to go along with their veteran talent, and although several names were mentioned as candidates, only one was interviewed. Butch van Breda Kolff was named head coach of the Suns in 1972.
However, after only seven games, 16 days overall into the season, Colangelo removed van Breda Kolff as the head coach. For his part, van Breda Kolff kept the firing in perspective. “First of all,” VBK said, “I’ve got to check on the lease at my residence.”
During his time in the NBA, he coached the Pistons, Suns and took the Lakers to The Finals twice, while also coaching the Memphis Tams and New Orleans Jazz of the ABA. His son, Jan, also played professionally and coached at Cornell, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure.
Suns to Hold Training Camp in Tucson
Posted: Aug. 21, 2007
Kerr will be back in his old stomping grounds when the Suns open training camp in 2007.
After training overseas in Italy last season, the Phoenix Suns will stay closer to home when they open training camp in 2007. For the second time in three seasons, the ballclub will tip things off at the University of Arizona’s McKale Center in Tucson.
"We feel strongly about the connection between Tucson and the Suns," General Manager Steve Kerr told The Wildcat Online. "I think we're getting more and more fans from down here who are coming up to games, who are watching the games on TV, and we just want to maintain that connection, make sure that the Suns are Arizona's team, not just Phoenix's."
The location will be a familiar one to Kerr, who played for the Arizona Wildcats and helped lead them to the Final Four in the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Camp will take place during the week of October 1, just after the Suns wrap up their annual media day at the US Airways Center.
Grant Hill Makes Music Video Appearance
Posted: Aug. 21, 2007
For years, the cross-over appeal of athletes wanting to be musicians and musicians wanting to be athletes has been more than apparent. Recently, it’s Phoenix’s newest forward Grant Hill who’s been testing the rockstar waters with his cameo in Nickelback’s new video, “Rockstar.”
The veteran NBA baller joins the likes of racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ultimate Fighting Champion Chuck Liddell and hockey great Wayne Gretzky for a lip-synching array of guest appearances in the video.
The single is part of the multi-platinum album “All the Right Reasons,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200.
For Ambrose, It's Always the Season for Giving
Posted: Aug. 21, 2007
While his ability to give may not result in the MVP Awards that Steve Nash has managed to rack up over the past few seasons, the actions of Executive Director of Phoenix Suns Charities Tom Ambrose have by no means gone unnoticed.
Working with the Suns organization since the early 1970s, and with Phoenix Suns Charities since its inception in 1988, Ambrose has helped raise $7 million for various Arizona organizations. His efforts were recently recognized in the July edition of frontdoors, a monthly publication now available at newstands.
The article recaps the time Ambrose has spent with the Suns, as well as his desire to give back to the community.
“I think that any company that, in effect, lives and works in a community has an obligation to give back to it,” Ambrose said in the article.
Recently, Phoenix Suns Charities announced its grant recipients for 2007, awarding more than $750,000 to various charitable organizations found throughout Arizona. The grants are made possible through a series of fundraising events held throughout the year, including the Suns & Stars Gala and the annual Suns Celebrity Waiters Happy Hour, set to take place this year on Wednesday, November 15 at Barcelona in Scottsdale.
Nelson to Join Team USA in Las Vegas
Posted: Aug. 16, 2007
Suns Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson will share his expertise with Team USA.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE Photos)
With Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni and All-Star Amaré Stoudemire already in the mix, it makes perfect sense for Phoenix’s Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson to do his part for the USA Men’s Basketball Team, as well.
Nelson will serve as the team’s athletic trainer, helping prepare the ballclub for the Aug. 22-Sept. 3 FIBA Americas Championship being held in Las Vegas. Nelson is already familiar with some of the talented superstars who'll make up the team, not only Stoudemire, but also Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant. Nelson served as the athletic trainer for the Western Conference All-Star team during the 2007 NBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
Among the most respected trainers in the NBA, Nelson, along with the National Basketball Athletic Trainer Association (NBTA), recently signed a new agreement with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) – a health and fitness education and sports performance solutions provider – which will establish NASM as the official provider of sports education for the NBATA.
Last Friday, NASM hosted the first of two National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association Integrated Manual Therapy courses at the US Airways Center. The conference helped provide head athletic trainers – including Nelson – with the latest manual muscle testing, dynamic stretching techniques and injury prevention solutions for use with players during the upcoming NBA season.
Tucker, Strawberry Find Life in the NBA is "Topps"
Posted: July 30, 2007
While it may seem like only yesterday they were collecting NBA rookie cards, last Friday several members of the 2007 NBA Draft Class were involved with the process of creating cards of their own.
Forty-four NBA newcomers – including Phoenix’s Alando Tucker and DJ Strawberry – visited the Knicks’ training center in New York for rookie-card photographs taken by both Topps and Upper Deck.
Players like Minnesota’s Corey Brewer not only showed off their abilities in front of the still camera but the video camera as well, as the seventh overall selection assisted NBA TV by interviewing Chicago’s Aaron Gray about the process.
According to Strawberry, the son of former Mets superstar Darryl Strawberry, the photo shoot was one 22 years in the making as the Maryland guard recalled for the New York Times the first time he saw a picture of his father on a baseball card.
“I told him that one day I would be on my own card,” Strawberry told the publication. “I didn’t know if it was going to be baseball or basketball, but I was determined to do it.”
Arizona Head Coaches Hit the Links
Posted: July 30, 2007
With his responsibilities as an assistant coach for Team USA keeping his summer busy, Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni still found time last week for a few rounds of golf. D’Antoni wasn’t alone on the green, as new Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley also enjoyed the 18-hole course.
The idea was to pair Arizona’s longest-tenured major professional coach in D’Antoni with the “new kid on the block” in Whisenhunt. As Bickley puts it in his latest column, “Matching the guy who has it rolling like a diesel train with the guy hoping to lift the Cardinals out of dormancy.”
The three shared a number of stories together while also talking a little bit of trash as well. Of course a few bets were also placed, as Whisenhunt and Bickley placed a wager on all par 3s. Were Bickley to hit it closer to the pin, Whisenhunt would be forced to answer a tough question with complete honesty. Were the Cardinals coach to get closer, he would get a chance to play columnist and write a paragraph to be included in Bickley’s column.
On Saturday, Bickley received an e-mail from Whisenhunt with three paragraphs to be printed in his column. Among them, Whisenhunt writes, "If the Valley's newest head coach is looking for someone to emulate, he need look no further than his counterpart from the Suns. D'Antoni is the epitome of class and it is refreshing to know that being a successful coach and a quality person who treats people well are not mutually exclusive. Whisenhunt is very envious of the excitement D'Antoni's Suns created last postseason and would love to create that type of excitement at University of Phoenix Stadium."
STAT Solid in Team USA Scrimmage
Posted: July 23, 2007
Team USA took another step forward towards their goal of capturing Olympic gold when the team scrimmaged in a Team USA White vs. Team USA Blue contest on Sunday night. In a game which featured All-Stars among All-Stars, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant nailed the game-winning field goal which helped Team USA Blue to a 105-104 victory. Also among the victors was none other than Phoenix Suns center Amaré Stoudemire who pitched in a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
STAT helped set the tone early for his ballclub as the first points scored for his team came via his alley-oop slam dunk. While it is normally two-time MVP Steve Nash doing the tossing, Stoudemire instead caught this electrifying slam off Chicago Bulls’ point guard Kirk Hinrich.
Other teammates for Stoudemire in the affair included Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, Utah’s Deron Williams and young, rookie sensation Kevin Durant. Durant, who will play for Seattle this season, proved he could more than hold his own against the NBA’s best as he contributed 22 points, five rebounds and four steals off the bench.
Starbury Could be Taking Game Overseas
Posted: July 20, 2007
Well traveled throughout his 13-year NBA career, former Sun Stephon Marbury may soon be taking his basketball services farther from his hometown of Coney Island than ever. The point guard recently let it be known that he intends to play out the final two years of his contract with his current team, the Knicks, before taking his services to Italy.
The All-Star is currently in the middle of a 38-city bus tour promoting his discounted sneakers, but recently made a trip to Italy with his wife, where the couple fell in love with the country.
“I’m not just thinking of doing it, I’m going to do it,” Marbury told the New York Post. “My wife loved it there. It’s like a Beckham thing.”
Marbury is, of course, referring to soccer sensation David Beckham, who recently made the venture overseas to the United States to play for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy. How either will fare in their journeys has yet to be seen, but Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni – a legendary playmaker in Italy – offered Suns.com a prediction.
“He’ll have a great time, I know that much,” said D’Antoni, who then laughed, “He’ll probably be the second best point guard ever to play in Italy.”
Bell Lending a Hand in Miami
Posted: July 17, 2007
Since joining the Suns prior to the 2005-06 season, Raja Bell has always been active in the Phoenix community. This past Sunday, the sharpshooter brought his generous efforts to his old home in Florida, where he contributed to the 11th annual Zo’s Summer Groove.
Now more than a decade old, the event has become the largest fundraising event put on through Alonzo Mourning Charities. The festivities included a comedy show, a benefit dinner and auction as well as a block party. Over the years, the overall event has raised more than $6 million for Alonzo Mourning Charities and other groups.
Bell joined a number of NBA stars for the Carnival Cruise Line ZSG All-Star Basketball Game including Miami’s Mourning, Utah’s Carlos Boozer, Los Angeles Clippers’ Sam Cassell and D.C.’s Antawn Jamison. The game wrapped up a five-day-long list of events, all of which benefited underserved youth in need.
Bell was also found off the court as well, as he and his wife Cindy walked the red carpet at Zo's Summer Groove Comedy Show. The Comedy Show featured an exclusive guest list of performers including Katt Williams, Benji Brown and Mike Epps.
Diaw in France For Parker/Longoria Wedding
Posted: July 10, 2007
Diaw and Longoria hang out at the 2006 All-Star Weekend in Houston. (Josh Greene/Suns Photos)
Always supportive of his teammates, Phoenix’s Boris Diaw proved himself supportive of his friends as well last week. The 2006 Most Improved Player was in Paris, France on July 6 to attend the much-anticipated wedding between Spurs guard Tony Parker and television actress Eva Longoria.
About 40 guests were in attendance, including Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, French soccer player Thierry Henry and Los Angeles Laker Ronny Turiaf. The who’s who guest list also included several co-stars of Longoria’s, “Desperate Housewives” television program and Parker’s Head Coach Gregg Popovich.
Parker and Longoria each arrived separately – the bride with a group of girlfriends in a stretch limo while the 2007 Finals MVP ventured to the town hall of Paris' fourth district in a pearl gray Mercedes minivan.
McCarty Joins U of L Men's Basketball Staff
Posted: July 2, 2007
Former Sun Walter McCarty has found a new basketball home - this time as a coach. McCarty, who played for University of Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino in college, has joined the Cardinals' staff as an assistant coach.
Before joining the New York Knicks via the 1996 NBA Draft, McCarty was a starting forward on the Pitino-coached University of Kentucky Championship team. He then went on to enjoy a 10-year playing career in the NBA including time in Phoenix with the Suns.
After stops in New York and Boston, McCarty joined Phoenix in a midseason trade during the memorable 2004-05 season. The forward played 28 regular season games in Phoenix, finishing with averages of 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest.
Newest Addition to Suns Family
Posted: July 2, 2007
Phoenix Suns Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson and wife Jessica welcomed the arrival of son Andrew Aaron Nelson Thursday morning. Andrew weighs 7 pounds and 13 ounces and is 20 inches long.
Nelson joined the Suns organization as the second head athletic trainer in team history and when hired, he was the second-youngest head athletic trainer in the NBA. Nelson is also the brother-in-law of former Phoenix Sun Jeff Hornacek.
It was Aaron and Jessica's first child. Both mom and son are doing great!
MVP Dinner Date
Posted: June 28, 2007
No matter what happens in the NBA Draft, it’s already been a memorable week for Greg Oden.
Already expected to go as a top pick Thursday night, the former Ohio State Buckeye started off his New York City visit with a dinner with the Suns’ Steve Nash. Check out the details of the duo’s trip to a Brazilian restaurant in the heart of the Big Apple at the center’s personal blog website.
Jacobsen Named German Finals MVP
Posted: June 28, 2007
Former Suns guard Casey Jacobsen was recently named Finals MVP, as his Brose Baskets won the 2007 German Basketball Championship. If your German is up to snuff, click here to check out the Bavarian team’s website.
Rose Active in Phoenix Community
Posted: June 25, 2007
(Chris Mallory/Suns Photos)
Whether it be in his NBA homes of Denver, Indiana, Chicago, Toronto or New York, Suns forward Jalen Rose has always been an active member of his community.
Rose recently made his presence felt again, presenting a $10,000 check on Friday to The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. The donation was in conjunction with his annual assist donation program, and will be used to support the Kieckhefer Learning Center and its education programming. Daily activities at The Center encourage literacy, math, hand-on science and cultural understanding.
Several years ago, Rose established the Jalen Rose Foundation to create life-changing opportunities for underserved youth. Through the program, Rose distributes grants which focus on sports and education and are distributed in his hometown of Detroit as well as his current NBA home. Last week, Rose awarded $50,000 in college scholarships to five Detroit high school seniors. The scholarships were awarded based on academics, goals, extracurricular and community activities as well as financial need.
Posted: June 6, 2007
(Courtesy of Beckett Media LP)
Check out your local newsstands now for a true Suns double-double.
2007 All-NBA First Teamers Steve Nash and Amaré Stoudemire grace the covers of the June edition of Beckett Basketball Monthly and June/July’s Beckett Basketball Card Plus, respectively. The two-time NBA MVP highlights an article on the best sports card investments to make right now, while the All-Star center’s piece focuses on his all-time premium basketball card checklist.
Nash Gives Reporting a Try
Posted: June 6, 2007
Having practiced in the past with Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, Steve Nash has already proven himself as a point guard capable of wearing many hats. The two-time MVP recently tried on another, when replacing Dan Patrick for a segment of Outtakes as featured in the June 18 edition of ESPN Magazine.
For the quick hits, one-on-one segment, Nash talks with French soccer player Thierry Henry. Having the opportunity to be on the other end of the mic for a change, Nash got to show off his lighter side in questioning whether or not Henry was bothered by the fact North Americans still call his sport ‘soccer.’
“No. You know what bothers me?,” the soccer sensation responds in the publication. “That they call American football football.”
Nash inquires about a number of other topics during the interview, including Henry’s favorite athletes to watch, which country has the toughest fans and whom he would want on his side for a three-on-three match at Tony Parker and Eva Longoria’s upcoming wedding. The 1998 Word Cup winner pits Tony, Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf against Eva, his wife and himself.
Towards the end, Nash even asks who the Bruce Bowen of the Premiership is to which Henry responds, “It was Martin Keown, but he’s retired. A lovely guy but just crazy.”
Stoudemire and Diaw Hit the Practice Court
Posted: June 13, 2007
Amaré Stoudemire continued his working summer vacation on the practice court Wednesday.
(Josh Greene/Suns Photos)
After Wednesday’s pre-draft workouts wound down, a pair of Suns were just getting started with their day. Amaré Stoudemire and Boris Diaw hit the practice court for some optional workouts of their own, as both players continue to get in shape for their respective national teams this summer.
“The national teams help us with both kids,” Sr. Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin said. “This is an effort to get in shape for the French and U.S. teams. That focus on winning serves us well.”
The day was by no means summer workout No. 1 for either player. Both have already put in noteworthy time on the Suns’ practice court, as of late.
“These guys have all come in on their own at 11 o’clock at night to get shots up,” Griffin added. “It’s a good group, and the whole nucleus of our team is excited about the future, so they’re ready to start right now. Last season left a burning hole in these guys, and they are ready to play.”
Former Sun Scott Williams Returns To Valley
Posted: June 11, 2007
(Josh Greene/Suns Photos)
With the Cleveland Cavaliers playing on the road for the first two games of the 2007 NBA Finals, former Suns player and current Cavaliers color commentator Scott Williams took advantage of the time off. After traveling to the Bahamas with his family, Williams returned to the Valley on Monday to take in pre-draft workouts with the Suns.
Williams enjoyed a 15-year career in the NBA, playing for seven different teams in the process. He won three titles with the Chicago Bulls during the early 1990s and joined the Suns prior to the 2002-03 season. Since that time, Phoenix has found a permanant home in the big man’s heart.
“I make my home here in Phoenix and have been a Suns season ticket holder now for the last two years,” Williams said. “I sit right next to the bench and try to see a game whenever I’m here in town. When I can’t be here I still try to catch whatever I can on television.”
While his former team the Suns came up short against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, Williams sees another of his former teams, the Cavs, coming out ready to play in Game 3 of their series despite trailing 2-0.
“They play particularly well at home,” Williams said. “I think maybe Game 1 they were just happy to be there and in Game 2 they had no answer for Tony Parker. They’ll play better at home, the fan base in Cleveland has been fantastic all season long and I’m looking for LeBron James to come out more aggressive. Bench players also usually play better at home too so that could play a factor.”
2006-07 Sunsational Season Special
Posted: June 8, 2007
Broadcaster Tom Leander hosts the 2006-07 Sunsational Season Special on Saturday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. on My45.
Relive the 2006-07 season this Saturday evening, June 9, when My45 airs the 2006-07 Sunsational Season Special. Broadcaster Tom Leander hosts a look back at all of this past season's highlights:
- The Suns 61-win season with 15 & 17 Game Win Streaks and a 3rd straight Pacific Division title
- Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire 1st Team All-NBA selections
- Leandro Barbosa's 6th Man of the Year
- Raja Bell makes 1st Team All-Defense
- NBA Playoffs Series Recaps vs. Lakers & Spurs
- Interview with Suns President & GM Steve Kerr
- Plays of the Year
STAT a Guest on Best Damn Sports Show Period
Posted: June 6, 2007
A little over a month after eliminating the Lakers from the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Amaré Stoudemire returned to Los Angeles earlier this week, this time in street clothes as a guest on the Best Damn Sports Show Period.
The Suns’ center discussed a number of topics with the cast, including his recent appearance at the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular, which has provided over $16 million to benefit the Medical Genetics Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Stoudemire also discussed other ways he’s managed to keep himself busy so far this summer, including his preparation to play with Team USA and his plans to take summer classes at Arizona State University.
“I’ve always wanted to go to school,” said Stoudemire on the program. “It was just easy for me not to go to school by being drafted out of high school. Now I’ve got the chance and I’m going to give it a shot.”
Of course, the Olympian was also asked about his infamous suspension from Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals. After leaving the bench during a late-game altercation in Game 4, Stoudemire as well as teammate Boris Diaw were both suspended for one game. Phoenix lost that Game 5 at home before ultimately losing the series in San Antonio.
“I definitely was going in with a peacemaker type of approach and caught myself once I stepped onto the court,” Stoudemire said of his actions. “I didn’t play last year, forgot about the rule and was acting off a natural reaction.”
When asked whether or not that rule should be changed for next season, the center responded, “I think they should take a look at it and try to tweak it. You can’t change it too much because you still want to keep teams away from the altercation, but I think they should tweak it just a little bit.”
FSN Arizona to Air Season in Review
Posted: June 2, 2007
FSN Arizona is airing a special season in review show this Monday, June 4, at 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. Hosted by Brad Steinke and Tom Chambers, the one-hour show looks back on one of the best seasons in Suns history while also looking ahead to the future. Here is what’s in store:
Suns Fan Reaches Spelling Bee Finals
Posted: June 1, 2007
Gilbert, Ariz. resident and Suns fan Jonathon C. Horton.
Gilbert resident and die-hard Suns fan Jonathon C. Horton advanced to the seventh round of the National Spelling Bee before a live national television audience on ABC on Thursday night.
The 14-year old eighth-grader was proudly wearing his Suns shirt as he correctly spelled remembrance, exhilarate, logogriph, pteridology and reseau, before being stumped by the word "girolle," a mushroom used in cooking.
Joonathon's bio lists him as "a dedicated fan of the Phoenix Suns and hopes to one day meet his favorite basketball star Steve Nash."
This year he also participated in the National Mathcounts competition and at the state level in the National Geographic Bee.
Meyers Drysdale Among FIBA HOF Candidates
Posted: May 31, 2007
On June 18, the FIBA Hall of Fame’s 2007 Class of Inductees will be announced. The class of 2007 will consist of a maximum of 20 persons, 34 potential candidates being announced earlier this week.
Among the hopefuls are Suns Vice President Ann Meyers Drysdale and former Mercury Head Coach Cheryl Miller. Miller coached the Mercury from 1997-2000, leading the team to the 1998 WNBA Finals.
Meyers Drysdale meanwhile is viewed as one of the true pioneers in women’s basketball and currently serves as both the general manager of the Phoenix Mercury as well as a Vice President with the Suns. In 1993, Meyers Drysdale – who in 1974 became the first high school player ever to make a United States National Team – was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Other nominees for the 2007 Class include legends such as Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Dean Smith. The official enshrinement ceremony will take place on September 12 in Madrid, Spain.
Suns Coaches Scouting in Orlando
Posted: May 31, 2007
After having their season cut earlier than expected, Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni and assistant coach Alvin Gentry have already gotten to work on preparing for the 2007-08 NBA season.
Both coaches are currently down in Orlando, scouting rookie hopefuls including Aaron Gray, Coby Karl and China’s Sun Yue. A number of scouts and spectators were surprised by the high level of talent exhibited by the youngsters on Wednesday, which marked the first day of Orlando's predraft camp. Although impressed by what they saw, both coaches know they have a long way to go before decisions need to be made.
“For some of these guys it’s the first time I’m seeing them, so it’s hard for me to make an evaluation,” Gentry said. “It’s a good experience to see these guys up close now so when names begin to come up later I have a clue as to who is being discussed.”
D’Antoni added, “One of our guys is probably here, we just need to find out who it is. There are a lot of talented players and the competition is definitely a lot of fun to watch.”
Stoudemire Commits to USA Basketball
Posted: May 24, 2007
Amaré Stoudemire has committed to playing for USA Basketball's Mens Senior National Team this summer.
"It's exciting," Krzyzewski told the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro on Wednesday. "Amaré said, 'Coach, it's going to be an honor to play for the U.S. I'm ready. What do you want me to do over the next two months?' That type of commitment shows great maturity. It's a verbal commitment that is strong. We expect him to be a strong player. I told him to relax for a little bit because getting to be a first-team All-NBA player after that (microfracture) surgery is really one of the more remarkable accomplishments for a player."
The Suns' All-Star center placed a call to Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski on Wednesday to confirm his desire to vie for a position on the squad that will play in the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas on Aug. 22-Sept. 2, which serves as the Olympic qualifying tournament . Leading up to the tournament, a minicamp will take place in Las Vegas in July, followed by a training camp in August, also in Las Vegas.
Shawn Marion, a mainstay on the USA squad for years, has yet to announce his plans regarding this summer's national team activities.
Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni will continue his role as an assistant coach on Krzyzewski's staff.