Deandre Ayton goes all out on his first Father’s Day as a dad in Suns win

Jun 20, 2021, 4:49 PM | Updated: 8:04 pm

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton scores against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of ...

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton scores against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Sunday was a big day for Suns big man Deandre Ayton on the court in the Game 1 Western Conference Finals victory against the Los Angeles Clippers, but an even bigger day for him off the court.

It was Ayton’s first Father’s Day as a dad, and he visited with his son ahead of tip-off.

He said the first person to wish him a happy Father’s Day was, unsurprisingly, Chris Paul, who was away from the team due to COVID-19 protocols.

“I think CP, Chris Paul was the first one to text me this morning, that’s the first happy Father’s Day I’ve gotten,” Ayton said. “I had to look at my phone, I glimpsed at it and it was like seven in the morning and I was like, ‘is this for me?”‘

“But I had to read the whole message and say ‘oh yea bro, you are a father.”‘

Being his first Father’s Day as a dad and his first Western Conference Finals game, Ayton said he had to “go all out.”

And he certainly did.

Ayton continued his impressive first postseason appearance in the Game 1 victory by scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

His presence on the floor also caused headaches for the Clippers, who had to go away from their small-ball game to put in centers DeMarcus Cousins and Ivica Zubac just to try and slow down Ayton.

“Just embracing that feeling was a lot, and it was a game day and my first finals playoffs,” Ayton said.

The performance of the Suns’ big man and fellow star Devin Booker – who recorded his first career triple-double – helped the Suns grab the important first step to the team’s first finals appearance in nearly three decades, and possibly the franchise’s first championship.

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