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Phoenix Suns Media Day 2023: Acclimating to the Valley

Image: Mark J. Rebilas/ USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is fast approaching and to kick things off, all 32 teams hosted media day. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at Phoenix Suns media day. The Suns are host to plenty of new faces in the valley this season, many of which were excited for media day. The event is an opportunity for players and media to interact before any sort of practices have taken place. Media day is lighthearted and allows the players to show more of their personality than a what a normal interview may include.

With that said, the Suns only have 5 players remaining on the roster from their playoff venture a year ago. There are a lot of new faces here in Phoenix and I wanted to know what players thought of the hottest state in the country. Responses were widely different and some very funny.

Bradley Beal

Photo by Mason Wood

Starting things off is the Suns big trade acquisition over the offseason, Bradley Beal, who had nothing but great things to say about his stay in the valley so far:

“The transition has been great. I want to thank every person in the organization to every citizen I’ve crossed paths with because they’ve made our transition smooth. You’re housing market was crazy this summer, I will say that. I’m not happy about that but, it’s just been great. You guys started school out here very early, I did notice that. I’m not used to change but I’ve embraced it all, I’ve been open minded. This is better than I could have ever imagined.”

Transitioning from a place you’ve called home for so many years has to be difficult, but it seems like Beal is handling things well. Also, he’s right, kids do start school out here way early, some in late July and others in early August. Just a few months in, Beal is starting to understand what life in the valley is like.

Beal also briefly mentioned a trip up north with Devin Booker, something that Booker said would happen “once the leaves turn over.” Either way, it’s good to see the two are already building chemistry, something this team will need for a title run this season.

Nassir Little

Nassir Little was already training out in Phoenix this summer before being traded, which ultimately made things easier. However the fast transition of a trade is never easy:

“The toughest thing is just the timing of it all. I was caught completely off-guard, I wasn’t prepared. It’s so many days you have to figure out in a short amount of time and all the while you got the NBA season coming up. I think me being familiar with the city is making it a little bit easier for me so it’s been relatively smooth.”

Little was included in the DeAndre Ayton trade and is still getting acclimated to things. One thing I was curious about was how players set up their off the court stuff from their previous city.

“I just got to take it a day at a time. As I get into the city and people start to know me and start to know what I’m about, I think it will organically happen. Opportunities will arise and I look forward to it.”

Raise The Roof

Nassir also mentioned how low the ceilings are here in the valley, saying it’s his biggest question mark. He also mentioned Phoenix’s lack of basements as well. As someone who lives in the valley, the ceilings isn’t something I ever really noticed until Nassir mentioned it. Though, I can see where he’s coming from.

Bol Bol

Bol Bol was asked a similar question to Nassir later on and he for sure noted the lack of height within homes. He also mentioned the lack of two story homes in the valley. He was also asked if he had any questions about the valley in which he said:

“I want to know when it starts cooling down because this heat keeps happening every single day. Other than that it’s been pretty good here so far. Everyone has been very nice and welcoming.”

The good news for Bol, cooler weather is just around the corner, we hope.

 Yuta Watanabe

Yuta was probably the only person on the roster who didn’t have anything negative about the heat. In Yuta’s words:

“I like hot weather, so being here made me really comfortable. I actually grew up in the countryside so Phoenix kind of reminds me of my hometown. I like living in a big city like Brooklyn or Toronto, but this is more like my hometown. I love being here.”

While I do agree with Yuta that Phoenix can feel like a countryside area(depending on where you go), I am far from agreeance on the heat. I’m glad the heat has at least made in person in the state comfortable.

Bring On The Heat

The Suns will have plenty of new players on their squad this season but they all seem to be enjoying the valley, at varying levels. Step one for these guys is getting comfortable, next comes building chemistry. Chemistry is something many fans and media would argue the Suns lacked last season, hence the DeAndre Ayton trade before the beginning of the season. However, with the players getting comfortable and already discussing trips up into the mountains, early signs look good for the refreshed Phoenix Suns. Fans will get their first look at the Suns in the preseason on October 8th against the Pistons.

For full versions of the Suns Media Day interviews, click here! For more basketball content on Back Sports Page, click here!

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