PHOENIX, Ariz. — Typically team captains are chosen by player vote.
This year, the Suns’ team captains were chosen by head coach vote.
In other words, there was no vote. There was an appointment.
First-year head coach Jeff Hornacek decided to name his starting backcourt, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, co-captains.
“They’re in charge out there, calling plays,” Hornacek explained following shootaround Wednesday. “I always felt that it’s good to have the point guards out there (as captains). One of those two guys is probably always going to be on the court, so we always have somebody out there that’s on the court that’s in that position.”
Told of the decision Tuesday, Bledsoe, entering his first season as a full-time starter, took the news matter-of-factly.
“That was expected since (Marcin) Gortat got traded,” he said. “Me and Goran are the point guards of the team anyway so it was expected.”
Still, the honor is important, according to Bledsoe, who sees the captainship as an extension of the head coach.
“It means a lot for the coaching staff to believe in me and (Dragic),” he said. “I try to lead by example, not talk too much. Anybody can go out there and run your mouth the whole game. I think a leader is to just lead by example. It starts from the point guards pushing the ball, stealing the ball, getting everyone (involved); just so it can just rub off on people.”
Dragic, meanwhile, completed his first full season as a starter last year. Plus, he’s got several years of captain experience, having handled the role for the Slovenian national team.
“It’s going to be a good experience,” Dragic said. “It’s always good to have a co-captain. We can work together and it’s going to be much easier for him and for me.”
A bonus of being an NBA captain is having more leeway with the officials. By rule, only the captain that is on the court is allowed to talk to the referee.
“I always talk with them, but they don’t give me the answers,” Dragic said, laughing.