EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Ish Wainright’s new Suns contract made him throw up with excitement

Feb 24, 2023, 8:07 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2023, 12:17 am

PHOENIX — We all process good news in different ways.

Phoenix Suns forward Ish Wainright got some he was waiting for on Friday that had to be stressful in some ways, and he was so excited when he received it that he began vomiting.

Wainright signed a new two-year contract with the Suns, filling the team’s last standard roster spot.

Phoenix initially had Wainright on a two-way deal but those will eventually see a player run out of time they are allowed to be active. Wainright’s expired after the last game before the All-Star break. He was still allowed to practice and be with the team. He just couldn’t be active and play in a game.

Now, just a few hours before the first game back from the break against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he can play.

Wainright said he was about to step on the court for a morning workout on Friday when he received a call from his agent. They let him know there was something in the works but it wasn’t a sure thing yet.

One more phone call informed him of more details, and then after he woke up from a nap, a text from head coach Monty Williams let him know the good news.

“I got so excited I started throwing up,” he said. “Literally throwing up. Ask my brother. Just excited, overly excited. My emotions was high.”

It has been a long journey for Wainright to get here, from a brief stint playing football and getting an invite to the Buffalo Bills’ training camp, he then played overseas before last season began his NBA career. A two-way contract for that run was converted to a standard deal so he could play in the postseason, and after playing in summer league, he was brought in on a two-way deal again this year.

Wainright’s answers to this milestone will not surprise you given the path he took to reach it.

Surely it’s a relief, though, right?

“There is but my spot is who I am, what I do,” Wainright said. “It’s not going to stop. Just because a signed a two-year, multi-year deal, does not mean I’m about to relax. I still have a chip on my shoulder. I still want to do whatever it takes to help win games.”

That’s eagerness to prove himself, yeah?

“It’s never going to go away,” Wainright said. “Never. Ever.”

Wainright has been earning minutes in the rotation the last month while playing the best basketball of his career. He has been a plus defensively and is being more assertive with the ball. While his role and playing consistent minutes gets a bit more complicated now with Kevin Durant’s debut coming soon, he’s also a big part of the locker room and is a great example of how the Suns work and improve.

“He worked his tail off the last two years,” Suns guard Cam Payne said of Wainright. “I felt like he deserved it last year but luckily for him he kept his head down and kept working. True testament of the team, true testament of how we get down. … I’m just happy for him.”

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