When one goes over what we’ve seen from the 2012-13 Phoenix Suns, several keywords will be offered.
‘Culture’ is one. Suns brass and interim head coach Lindsey Hunter have often talked of changing the culture of the Suns organization — one that was two games away from a trip to the NBA Finals just three years ago.
‘Effort’ is another. Hunter admonished and benched a quartet of young players for what he perceived as a lack of effort in a game against the Washington Wizards last week.
Suns’ veteran Jared Dudley, the longest-tenured member of the team, thinks a so-called culture change is tied directly to effort.
“You hear the word ‘effort’ a lot, and basically they’re trying to say (lack of effort) won’t be tolerated, we’re going to play through consistently,” Dudley told Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 620. “To me, I don’t know if that’s going to be a culture change. I thought it’s more about NBA-style. Any NBA team you play for, you should always play hard, you should always play together, you should always play smart.
“The teams that do that have good culture. I think we’re trying to get it that way and that’s what I think this whole culture change means. You’ll see that — a lot of that will come with personnel change.”
Unfortunately for Phoenix, personnel change might be difficult moving forward. The team has a 23-48 record heading into Wednesday night’s game at Utah and has ten players with guaranteed contracts on the books for the 2013-14 season.