Ish Wainright is feeling good to be back home, locked in to familiar role with Suns

Mar 6, 2024, 6:30 PM

Not a soul had a negative thing to say when the Phoenix Suns announced that Ish Wainright was returning to the team on a two-way contract on Monday.

Wainright provided energy, positivity and physicality through his first stint with the Suns and is happy to repeat those steps in his second stint.

“I told everybody this was home,” Wainright told Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “I think my role on the team is still the same to be honest with you. Being an energy guy, be a leader on and off the court and have that presence on defense for sure.”

The positivity that flowed through Wainright throughout his Phoenix tenure is a welcomed presence the second time around for him and the team.

The Suns have the toughest schedule remaining in the NBA and are in the stretch run as teams jockey for playoff positioning.

“I’m here and I’m ready to play and I’m ready to give it my all and I’m locked in and all in,” Wainright said.

There is a level of familiarity and comfort that should allow Wainright to slide right into place as a fan favorite, too.

The sentiment is reciprocated.

“You play for a team for not just one year but two years and then you go through the ups and down with those guys. You build relationships with the coaching staff, with the players, with the front office and not just that but with the fans of course. It bothered me (being traded), it would bother anybody, but I got past that and I’m back, back home and it feels good. It feels good now,” he said.

While he might not rack up as many minutes as some of his teammates, his leadership will be important during bleak times throughout the challenging schedule on a night-to-night basis.

That starts Thursday as Wainright and the Suns take on the Toronto Raptors from Footprint Center with tip off at 7 p.m.

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