See what Suns are doing off the court in ‘Don’t Sleep on Basketball’ episode
The Phoenix Suns’ latest “Don’t Sleep on Basketball” episode on Sunday evening opened with head coach Monty Williams fishing. The activity, he said, helps him escape the duties and rigorous schedule of the real world.
But, as most things seem to do with Williams, he figured out a way to connect that to basketball.
After someone gave him advice on catching fish that weren’t biting, he quickly caught a bass.
“That’s like, why players should listen to coaches right there,” he said as he readied his reel for another. “My coach told me what to do, I did it, first cast, nice little chunk.”
This week’s episode of “Don’t Sleep on Basketball” showcased what players are doing to enjoy their time off the court.
Over on the spikeball courts, assistant coach Willie Green found his own coach in forward Mikal Bridges.
Green had never before played spikeball, Bridges said, but Williams’ message from the pier seemed to ring true here as well. Bridges said they started slow but ended up winning the best-of-five tournament with other Suns players.
“They slept on us in the beginning,” Bridges said. “After a couple games he was locked in … we took the crown.”
Those weren’t the only two who were intense in the game. Last week, a spikeball video went semi-viral in the Suns Twitter community that showed Cam Johnson using his body to make sure opponent Dario Saric didn’t have good position to return the hit. Saric, in the video, got upset and started yelling with some choice words.
Saric himself addressed it in this YouTube episode.
“He just crashed into me, like I am nobody,” Saric said. “It was a hard hit. It was intentional.”
Johnson denied any illegal act: “I had to get around him to begin with. So in fact, he was in my way at first … I think he flopped, straight up.”
Saric remains disgusted that he not only lost, but that he lost to rookies Johnson and Ty Jerome.
Frank Kaminsky, who was watching the game, took a serious tone in the “postgame interview.” He wasn’t buying Johnson’s explanation.
“It’s just unfortunate. Cam was such a good kid. He had a lot of promise in spikeball. But early on in his career, had that type of stain on his record. That’s just unfortunate,” Kaminsky said. “I don’t know if he can recover from that.”
Away from sports like spikeball, golf and ping pong, the Suns have some reflection time and education. The players are continuing to learn more about the country’s history.
Guard Devin Booker said head coach Monty Williams sat them down to watch The Uncomfortable Truth, a movie about institutional racism in which the filmmaker learns his family played a role in the slave trade.
Williams said he has watched the movie three times.
“I thought it was fascinating to hear a white person tell a historical, factual in a story his family was involved in and how it impacted slavery and African Americans for decades,” he said.
“Facts remove assumptions … Some of it may not be enjoyable, but I think it’ll be something that provokes thought and allows us to have an understanding of where we come from.”