Suns’ Mat Ishbia continues relentless push with Bradley Beal addition
Jun 29, 2023, 1:38 PM | Updated: 3:54 pm
PHOENIX — Another day, another press conference, another shiny new toy for the Suns.
Thanks to Mat Ishbia, Phoenix is the NBA’s Wild West once again.
Here’s how crazy things have become, and how breathless the pursuit of a championship currently sounds:
On a day when newly acquired Bradley Beal was introduced to the local media, the first question was directed to the former Wizards star; the second was about the Kyrie Irving rumors that dropped two hours earlier; and the third was a query to president of basketball operations and general manager James Jones about who is actually running the show in Arizona.
According to a well-placed source, the Irving rumors are simply not true. There is no possible match and no free agent visit on the horizon. It is a ridiculous notion detached from all current realities, a leverage play from Irving’s camp and nothing more.
But Ishbia has come in so relentlessly aggressive, the Irving rumors made the basketball world gasp in unison. Because you wouldn’t put it past him.
Ishbia is everything a starving sports town dreams of in an owner: youthful, rich, and willing to risk it all in pursuit of a championship. Yet his approach is also counterintuitive to industry trends. It’s happening as the NBA institutes powerful deterrents to runaway spending and owners seeking to form super teams in destination cities.
Just our luck, right? We finally get a hell-bent owner and a super team in Phoenix just when super teams are becoming extinct in the NBA.
The fear is that Mat Ishbia and his bottomless pit of money arrived a few years too late. Or maybe it was ESPN reporter Baxter Holmes who arrived too late. Just like Shaq arrived a few years too late.
Either way, isn’t this fun?
Beal, our newest toy, struck the perfect tone on Thursday. He is an elite scorer who repeatedly vowed to savor the journey and accept all difficulties that might arise. He is an East Coast guy dropped inside a blast furnace, a world where everything is new and strange.
He’s already agreed to take a camping trip to Flagstaff with Devin Booker. He wondered aloud about the sauna-like temperature outside, like all newcomers in the heat of summer. And yet Beal also came with an awareness and a vibe — that he wants to be part of something special, that he knew exactly where he stood.
“This is Book Nation,” Beal said.
By the way, Beal also dropped hints of how the offense will look: fast-paced, up-tempo, with multiple ballhandlers.
“Whoever gets it, goes,” he said.
Strap a seat belt around your waist, Suns fans. And another around your heart.
Reach Bickley at email@example.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta mornings from 6-10 a.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7.