Suns’ Nassir Little barely made his daughter’s birth after flight from New York
Dec 5, 2023, 3:35 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
(Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)
The last three months jostled Nassir Little’s life a tad. The Phoenix Suns forward got thrown into the three-team Damian Lillard blockbuster trade to end September, relocating him a year after coming to terms on a long-term extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.
With a child on the way and a new house bought, the 23-year-old had to reorganize and replan his growing family’s life.
Speaking of life-jostling things from a shorter perspective, the birth of his daughter last week hit Little like a whirlwind, he told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.
The Suns played the New York Knicks the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and won on a Devin Booker game-winning three in the final seconds. The next morning, Little was summoned back to Phoenix.
“Basically, the morning after the Knicks game, my girlfriend had called me and notified me she was having contractions and whatnot and I would need to get home as fast as possible,” Little said. “… Had a five-hour flight to Phoenix, soon as I touched down, got to the hospital as soon as possible. Yeah, my daughter was born 20 minutes after I arrived. It was crazy.
“The doctors were doing everything they could to keep the baby at bay. As soon as I walked through the door, they were like, ‘you came just in time because we couldn’t wait much longer.'”
Little at least had a few months to acclimate his family to be relatively comfortable from there.
He and Jusuf Nurkic were traded from Portland to Phoenix as Deandre Ayton was shipped to the Blazers as part of the Lillard deal on September. Phoenix also got Keon Johnson from Portland and Grayson Allen from the Milwaukee Bucks in the trade.
“My first thought was, dang, where did Dame end up going?” Little said of how he found out he was on the move. “Once that hit, my first thought was just like, ‘damn, now I got to move. I got to figure out what to do with all my stuff, had just bought a house out there’ … my girl was pregnant, we had doctors already lined up in Oregon.
“I just started rummaging through the thought process of, like, moving doctors and figuring out a whole new city. I did like the city — I kind of always wanted to be out there. I worked out there this summer. I was excited to get to some nice weather and be on a team that was contending for something special this year.”
NBA In-Season Tournament leading to organic excitement
Little likes a few things in the debut of the NBA In-Season Tournament, with the Suns opening knockout round play Tuesday with a visit to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It definitely gives us more of a fire to go out there and compete. It’s a whole new feel,” Little said. “I love the courts, I love how they have these vibrant courts … it has this new energy about it.”
And the bonuses don’t hurt, either. It sounds like Suns players will be pooling their winnings to help out others in the organization as they aim to pile up the cash.
“Me personally, I’m not the one to leave any money on the table so that’s a pretty good incentive as well,” Little said. “Especially for the coaching staff and a lot of the players, we plan on sharing with the staff and the organization. I feel like that’s a good incentive.”