EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Rubio, Jerome standing out early as Suns training camp gets underway

Oct 1, 2019, 2:40 PM | Updated: Oct 2, 2019, 8:31 pm
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz — If you looked at Phoenix Suns point guard Ricky Rubio and didn’t immediately think of a vocal leader, you wouldn’t be alone.

Suns center Deandre Ayton was one of the many.

“Look how quiet Rubio look,” he said of Rubio’s way at the team’s media day on Monday. “He look like he yell? Man, I heard him and (Rudy) Gobert go at it a couple times (in Utah), and I’m like, ‘Oh!'”

It’s becoming apparent quickly that Rubio is that loud guy, at least on the court. He’s already leading at the Suns’ training camp in Flagstaff, and that’s via no instructions from head coach Monty Williams.

“Nothing. I haven’t told him anything,” he said Tuesday. “He’s a natural leader.

“And guys follow him because he’s a good guy and he can play.”

Ayton reemphasized his point again on Tuesday.

“Ricky’s so quiet off the court, you’ll have to make eye contact to say hi, but on the court he’s on my tail like, ‘Yo, D.A.! Come on man! Let’s go!’ I’m like, ‘Aight, I got you,'” he said.

That’s been a rare thing for Ayton in the past, according to him.

“Yeah it [hasn’t] happened in a while where I’m the guy they gotta tell what to do or correct,” he said. “But it’s a good feeling to know that people are on you to certain standards and your companions and teammates really care about you being great.

“Finally somebody is watching me.”

Rubio, along with rookie Ty Jerome, were the first two names Williams mentioned when it came to early standouts.

“He learns fast,” Rubio said of Jerome. “Just with one practice I can tell he knows how to play and [he’s] trying to do the right thing. I’m happy that he’s on our side and I will try to help him too in his rookie season.”

BRIDGES, OUBRE OUT

When media arrived in the gym toward the end of practice, wings Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre Jr. were not participating.

Williams said Oubre has some discomfort in his hand while Bridges has some discomfort as well, but Williams did not specify where for Bridges and what hand for Oubre.

It was Oubre’s right hand bothering him, per a team source, and not his left hand that he had season-ending thumb surgery on in March.

Bridges was taking shots after practice while Oubre was not.

With that development, rookie Cam Johnson was running with the first unit through some instructional drills of the team’s offense.

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