October 1, 2012: Suns media day
Former Boston Celtics head coach Rick Pitino — following a March 1, 2000 home loss to the Toronto Raptors, uttered these famous words:
Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door.
Fast forward 12 years and it’s Suns head coach Alvin Gentry — albeit more subdued, with his own version of ‘Pitino speak’ when he was asked about not having Steve Nash and Grant Hill at media day:
They’re not here and they’re not going to come back. We’re just moving forward. We’re excited about the group of guys that we have. We’re moving into a new chapter of Suns basketball.
It’s been nine years since the Suns held a media day without the two-time MVP. And yes, it was a bit strange not seeing No. 13 walking from one photo station to another, doing one interview after another at US Airways Center.
There are more new faces (7) than familiar faces (6) as the Suns get ready to open training camp at UC San Diego in La Jolla, California on Tuesday.
Yet despite the roster turnover, there is excitement and optimism within the group of players that has been assembled.
Said Marcin Gortat, “I think we have a big chance to make the playoffs.”