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Channing Frye: Motivation brings team together

LISTEN: Channing Frye, Suns forward

It didn’t take long for Channing Frye to buy into the Phoenix Suns this season.

Frye told The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. it was in training camp when he realized the potential the team had.

“Usually if you’re on a bad team your starting five will beat the junk out of your second five,” Frye said. “But the chemistry that both teams had in camp, even with coaches interchanging groups, were amazing.

“When you look at good teams everybody does something different. Nobody comes in that really does the same thing as someone else. Everyone is just a little bit different on this team. ”

Frye is in his fifth season as a Sun, but first since missing all of last year due to an enlarged heart that threatened his career.

The 30-year-old hasn’t missed a beat since coming back to the team, as he’s one of five players to play in all 59 games this season and one of just three to start each contest.

Frye points out that he’s not alone in taking the court with a chip on his shoulder this season.

“On a personal level, everyone has a back story of why they want to prove the NBA wrong of either not being picked or being traded a couple times or having to sit on the bench and wait for the opportunity,” Frye said. “This team had a lot of personal motivation behind trying to be good this year.”

Take for example the players the Suns received from the Indiana Pacers before the season in Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green.

Plumlee, a late first-round pick in 2012, only played 55 minutes for the Pacers and many more for the D-League before being sent to Phoenix with Green. In his sophomore season, Plumlee leads the team in rebounds, pulling down more than eight per game.

Green is on this seventh team in his six-year NBA career after being traded three times, waived once and spending time playing in China and Russia. Green is now helping lead the Suns into the postseason averaging a career high 15.1 points per game in 28.6 minutes per contest.

The Suns currently hold the seventh seed in the Western Conference. The next four games for Phoenix will be against teams that own a better record than them in the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors, along with two more against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“We didn’t have those expectations of not making the playoffs, we always knew that that was something that we wanted to accomplish and that it was going to take work,” Frye said. “Those expectations that media guys put on our team aren’t ours. For us, the playoffs are something we want. We don’t want to just crawl in there. We want to be hitting on all cylinders when we get in there.”