Lon Babby: It's a bright new day
July 20, 2012: Suns a team in transition, part II
The day before Suns managing partner Robert Sarver joined NBA TV, Lon Babby, the Suns president of basketball operations, made an appearance at the start of the second quarter of the Suns summer league game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Most of what he said had been heard before but he had some interesting comments about leadership and moving forward:
Let's first talk about Steve Nash
"Who?" Babby jokes.
"It was a long time in coming. I knew the day would have to come sooner or later. I hoped it would be later I guess in some respects. I think it's been good for Steve---it will be good for Steve, and it was time for us to really turn the page and move forward."
on going forward without Nash
"We knew that there was going to come a time where we just needed to see the '7 seconds or less', the wonderful Steve Nash here kind of run its course. Now that that's happened we have the opportunity to really hit the runway and get started on a new era of Suns basketball. It's going to be a project but I think the path is much clearer than it's been."
on addition of Luis Scola
"It was a little bit of an early Christmas present. We worked hard for two years to get into a position where we would have a lot of cap room. People assume that you're only going to use that on free agency but it also provides opportunities for lopsided trades or in this case to make an amnesty claim. The opportunity to get a player of his caliber at the number we were able to get it at...we needed some veteran leadership. I really feel strongly that you can't have a bunch of young players that are left rudderless without any kind of leadership. I think Luis will provide that for us and he's still a terrific basketball player."
on who now becomes the leader of the team
"It's going to be interesting to see how it develops. You can't assign a leader. It's got to happen organically. We've long thought that that was going to be Jared's (Dudley) role going forward but he's got to kind of get out of the---when you have Steve Nash and Grant Hill there it's easy to be kind of the younger brother, well, now he's got to be the older brother. We're excited about that opportunity.
"All of these things are going to be new and there's going to be a transition period. For our young players, I think Jared---he's seen it. He's been around it. Now it's his time to help be a leader."
on moving forward with a revamped roster
"It's going to be a process. I don't think you can take any shortcuts. We're excited about it. Even if we end up in the same place or even worse than we were last year record wise, I just think it's a bright new day and there will be a hope and an enthusiasm.
"I mean it was just obvious that sooner or later we were going to have to face this day."