Goran Dragic is an overachiever. He tries too hard and he never lets up. He doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice his body just to win a game.
At least that’s what his boss says about him.
Dragic, 27, plays with a determination and hunger that can, at times, seem scarce and latent in the landscape of the NBA. And at times, the Slovenian national plays with so much energy that you’d think the Phoenix Suns would ask him to tone things down.
But have they ever?
“No, because it would be pointless,” Suns president of basketball operations explained while a guest with The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta.
“That’s the way he’s wired, that’s the way he plays and that’s what makes him a special part of this team and a joy to watch.”
Dragic, who is averaging 16.4 points and 6.4 assists per game with the Suns this season, has suffered a pair of injuries due to his style of play, sitting out with an ankle injury and then needing 13 stitches from a head-first collision with the Portland Trailblazers’ Mo Williams after diving after a loose ball.
“He plays at a tremendously hard pace,” Babby explained.
The president admits — there are moments where the team would like to see less all-out play, all the time in order to preserve his health, but those hopes are futile.
“Sometimes, what you want to see is to play with a little bit more calm, depending on the circumstances in the game, because he’s always got his foot on the accelerator,” he went on. “In terms of his desire, his effort, his willingness to give up of his body with every ounce of energy he has — nobody would want to stop that and you couldn’t if you wanted to.”
His on-court play, Babby boasts, is really a testament to his round-the-clock character. The seven-year veteran has displayed seeming humility and professionalism throughout his career. Over the offseason, when the Suns brought in Eric Bledsoe to play point guard and slid Dragic — the 2012-13 one guard for the Suns — to shooting guard, he handled himself excellently.
“‘Grounded’ is an excellent word for him,” said Babby. “He doesn’t have a big ego and plays with a spirit that is infectious for our whole organization.
“He represents a lot of the qualities you want, not only in your point guard or your two-guard, which are the positions he happens to be playing, but what you want your son to be like.”