The Suns’ playoff success has created excitement around the Valley

Jun 5, 2021, 4:14 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers dur...

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half in Game Five of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After a 10-year playoff drought, the city of Phoenix had been itching for Suns playoff basketball.

With their series clinching victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, the Suns have rejuvenated the city as the talk of the Valley.

On Saturday, Suns wingman Mikal Bridges told reporters that as a Philadelphia native he didn’t realize how big a sports town Phoenix was coming into his rookie year.

“I didn’t know too much about Phoenix and now with these playoffs in general, like you can just tell the difference,” Bridges said via Zoom. “I think the best thing is, you know you realize when it’s really kind of a sports city when you don’t play well and they get on you a little bit and that’s what you need.

“So I’m happy that our fan base is like that because they really truly care and they really want us to win. So credit to the whole city.I didn’t know, especially when I got here, that they could get like this and it’s unbelievable.”

Bridges added that during his rookie year, people would notice him around the city due to his height but with the team’s turnaround this season, the hype around the Suns has grown immensely.

“When you go out somebody will say, ‘Oh good game, good this or that’ and I got that a lot back back in Philly back home at (Villanova),” Bridges said. “They know they watch, they know the top player, they know last person off the bench, they know your manager, they know everything back on the East Coast. So I was used to that since I was in college so to get that feeling again it is pretty dope.”

Head coach Monty Williams has also noticed the excitement the team has brought to the city as residents in his neighborhood put up a “Go Suns” sign at the gate entrance to his residential community.

“Our city is feeling it,” Williams said. “And there’s a really cool feeling about our team, buzz, whatever you want to call it, but that was like my moment that by the grace of God, we’ve been able to create a good feeling about our team in the city.”

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