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Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker is a good role model for us all

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) and Phoenix Suns guard P.J.Tucker (17) battle for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Toronto. D-League. Israel. Ukraine. Israel again. Greece. Italy. Puerto Rico. Germany.

Next up was supposed to be Russia. Those plans were derailed.

Although the list of Lance Blanks accomplishments is only barely longer than the list of great Wally Backman managerial decisions, the invitation in 2012 for P.J. Tucker to play on the Suns' Summer League team is easily the best.

No guaranteed money or roster spot. Tucker was only promised he could earn the right to simply be invited to training camp after Vegas. He decided to opt-out of his Spartak St. Petersburg contract and become a Summer Sun.

P.J. Tucker has earned everything and been given nothing in his professional career. He played Summer League ball with the Cavaliers in 2007. Even the Cavs told him he wasn't good enough to make the team. Months later the Cavs traded for failed pro Wally Szczerbiak. They wanted Wally World yet Tucker wasn't needed.

Do you chase your dreams like P.J. Tucker does?

Do you refuse to give in when you know you can do the job others say you can't?

Does anyone question your effort?

We all need to attack our jobs like P.J. Tucker. Tucker plays every game like someone will send him away and never let him play in the NBA again. They've already done that twice and Tucker refused to accept their opinion. I have a feeling he will never let the third time be a charm. Tucker will get to dictate his exit this time.

Not only does every Sun need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they give as much as Tucker does to win, maybe we all do. We always attack athletes who are not role models for our kids. It's time for us as adults to have role models.

I'm a man. I'm even over 40. I have no problem admitting I have a role model.

About the Author


School: Ohio University...Go Bobcats!

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: 1st Doug & Wolf Show: 1/2/07

Favorite sports memory: Goldschmidt's triple icing the 2011 NL West title because it was a daddy-daughter day at the ballpark and Bellbrook vs. Dunbar '89 when I hit my one varsity HR.

Favorite all-time athlete: as a kid, Magic...as an adult, Grant Hill

Favorite sports movies: Field of Dreams

Best sports road trip: My honeymoon...wedding Saturday...Braves vs. Reds Sunday Night...Cooperstown Monday through Thursday morning...Jennifer sings the Anthem Thursday night at Fenway... Sox/White Sox triple play and cycle in the same game for only the second time in baseball history...Saturday night Clemens strikes out 9 through 7 but the bullpen blows it and the crowd is furious.

Best game I've ever seen live: Suns/Spurs Game 5 2007 Western Semis (the game w/o Amare & Boris). Hated the outcome but loved the experience.

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