Suns will ‘fight all the way to the end’

Feb 11, 2013, 11:42 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2013, 12:06 am

There is belief and then there is reality.

The belief (by the front office) that the 2012-13 Suns would contend for one of the final playoff spots never materialized, shattered weeks ago.

Now, there’s the belief (by the coaching staff) that daily progress along with player development will
lay the foundation for a postseason appearance next year. Construction, however, appears a long way off.

“We have a team that some nights, some days, they bring it and they play hard and then we get lost for three, four games,” Goran Dragic said. “I was talking to Lindsey (Hunter) and with all the players and they’re saying, ‘We’ve still got 30 games left.’ If we shut down now –everybody is saying next year we’re going to make playoffs. If we shut ourselves down now then we cannot improve ourselves and try to be better next season. We cannot just quit and come back next season and start playing well. It has to start now.”

The question is how.

“Something’s got to change,” Marcin Gortat said.

A coaching change has already occurred.

A player change via a trade(s) is likely on the horizon.

The biggest change needed though just may be an attitude change, collectively by each person on the active roster.

“I mean you got to come ready to play,” Gortat added. “If you really care and if you really want to play in this league you got to bring your best. That’s it. You got to bring your best.”

Asked Sunday, after the second straight blowout defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder, if every player was putting forth their best effort, the Suns starting center responded, “I’m not going to say anything.”

Gortat later added he, speaking only for himself, was not prepared to call it a season despite the club’s 17-35 record.

“I’m just going to go out and do my job. That’s what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “I’m going to try to compete, play hard. I’m not saying every game is going to be great from my side but I’m just going to try to do it. I represent 40-million country and I can’t just sit down right now or act like I don’t care. I’m going to fight all the way to the end, always to the end.”

Dragic, in the first year of a four-year contract signed last July, echoed the same sentiment.

“I’m not the guy that is just going to surrender,” he said. “Where I come from, my family went through a lot. We had war. My family was always teaching me that it doesn’t matter how bad situation is you have to stay positive, have to battle until the end even if the percentage is really low. I’m still going to fight until the end of the season. That’s the only thing I can do. Right now, I’m just asking to everybody do the same thing.”

Phoenix Suns

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, right, drives around Phoenix Suns forward Torr...
Kevin Zimmerman

What’s at stake in each of the Suns’ remaining games?

Kevin Durant's potential return from an ankle injury after a reevaluation sits a week out for the Phoenix Suns.
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket past Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns collapse in 4th quarter of road loss to Thunder

The Suns were in control for most of Sunday's game against the Thunder but bad turnovers eventually caught up to them.
3 days ago
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)...
Wills Rice

Landry Shamet plays well in Suns return, loss to Thunder

The Suns collapsed late in the 124-120 loss to the Thunder on Sunday in guard Landry Shamet's return after missing 25 games to a heel injury.
3 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Landry Shamet #14 after scoring against the Washin...
Arizona Sports

Suns rule Deandre Ayton out, Landry Shamet probable vs. Thunder

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton will not suit up Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a right hip contusion.
4 days ago
Radio broadcaster Al McCoy following the NBA game between the Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunde...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ 2022-23 season will be Al McCoy’s last

This Phoenix Suns season will be the last for legendary broadcaster Al McCoy as the team's play-by-play voice on Arizona Sports 98.7.
5 days ago
Josh Okogie #2 of the Phoenix Suns blocks a shot by Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic during t...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns hold on vs. Magic to snap 3-game losing streak

Sometimes getting that win to end a skid is like pulling teeth, and it was like that for the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
6 days ago
Suns will ‘fight all the way to the end’