The Phoenix Suns’ Alan Williams is in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League, playing alongside the team’s most recent draft picks.
With that opportunity, he’s not only working on his own game, but admiring that of players like Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis, all selected by the Suns on June 23.
Not long after his mom was announced as Phoenix’s first-ever female police chief, Williams joined the Burns & Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday to talk about his time in Sin City thus far.
“I feel like I have a veteran presence, Devin (Booker) and I have both been here before,” he said. “Of course there’s some older guys on the team. But we’re kind of the vocal leaders out there.”
Williams played in China last season until the Suns picked him up on March 8, signing him soon thereafter to a multi-year deal. He appeared in 10 games for Phoenix, averaging 6.8 minutes, 3.8 rebounds and 2.9 points per game. He played for the Houston Rockets’ Summer League team last year.
“After playing it one year, going through a professional season and then playing a little NBA time here and there, you go into it with a different mindset,” Williams said. “You know what to expect. You know the grind is going to be crazy, that it will be the training camp before hand, you have a multitude of games in a row or one day off, something like that. It’s something you’ve got to prepare for, and we’ve done a good job of coming in preparing the guys who haven’t been through it so they can understand how important it is.”
Williams’ guidance might help the new draftees in particular, as Bender played in Croatia while Chriss and Ulis played college ball. However, Williams might benefit from it himself; he’s watching top prospects shine in their first NBA opportunity.
“They’re really good,” he said. “I know that sounds as simple as possible, but they can be really special. I think Dragan has the ability to play the three-four. I think Marquese has the ability to play the three-four, at a really high level, both of those guys. They’re athletic, they can shoot the ball, they have the right mechanics. All three of them, what I really see, they all have that dog in them. You kind of want your players to come in with that edge and that attitude, and at any point they can snap and turn that on.
“It’s really an exciting time for Phoenix Suns fans, and our front office did a great job getting these three guys that can really contribute and will be great pros, I believe.”
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