Suns Receive Unique Opportunity Facing Australia's Brisbane Bullets

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns received a unique opportunity to not only compete against an international team, but also experience how the sport of basketball can unite people from all backgrounds around the world.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to play basketball,” Head Coach Earl Watson said. “It brings people together from different ethnicities, cultures and religions. We are really thankful for that.”

The Suns took on the Brisbane Bullets from Australia for their final preseason matchup. The Suns walked away with a 114-93 victory and an incredible experience to play on an international stage.

“I think the NBA is doing a good job of expanding the game,” Devin Booker said. “I never would have expected being known in all these different countries, but it’s the beauty of the game.”

Booker seems to enjoy the international spotlight. Last season he scored 39 points in both games in Mexico City and followed that up with 31 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Bullets on Friday.

Before even knowing about the matchup, Watson was studying the Bullets’ head coach Andrej Lemanis all summer.

“I’m a fan of his offense. I am a fan of his work. I had a chance to meet him last night for the first time and I’m a fan of him,” Watson said. “It’s cool for me just getting a chance to have relationships with these coaches that I’ve always looked up to. Not just in the NBA, but also internationally.”

Watson has never been to Australia, but he hopes to continue to travel and learn from other coaching styles.  

“I want to go,” Watson said. “I think I’m going to probably go next summer and actually spend some time with their national team coach.”

The Suns wrapped up their preseason schedule and look ahead to the start of the regular season when they tip-off against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Catch the action of the home opener on Fox Sports Arizona.