It was only exhibition, but Wednesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers meant a lot for Phoenix Suns forward/center Channing Frye.
On one hand, he was playing on the road against the team he left to join Phoenix in 2009. On the other hand, it was Frye’s first NBA game since April 21, 2012; the University of Arizona alum sat out the entire 2012-13 season with an enlarged heart that appeared to have been caused by a virus.
The sharpshooting big man wasted no time against Portland with getting in synch with his teammates new and old. In 16 minutes off the bench, Frye put up an impressive 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-for-4 from downtown, as the Suns pulled off a 104-98 preseason win.
After the game, Frye had nothing but gratitude to express on Twitter:
Thank you is all I can say. Thank you for everything It seemed that tonight was so far away and y'all helped me get here with your love.
— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) October 10, 2013
Recognizing the milestone, ex-teammate Steve Nash tweeted congratulations to Frye.
The eight-year veteran will likely battle Markieff Morris for playing time at the power forward position this season. Frye would provide some instant offense if he comes off the bench; but, if Phoenix goes with Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker as the starting point guard and wings this year, head coach Jeff Hornacek could need Frye’s skillset to stretch the court and keep defenses from packing the lane.