Golden State Warriors forward Kelly Oubre Jr. had a breakout season with the Phoenix Suns in 2019-20, averaging career-highs of 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while also converting a career-high .452 from the field and .352 from beyond the arc.
If you’re expecting that to have given him a favorable impression of the Suns, you’re wrong.
Starting his career with the Washington Wizards after being drafted in 2015, Oubre was traded to Phoenix last December. He’s played 96 games in that time and seen all but four of his teammates change.
On the outside looking in, the Suns looked like a respectable if struggling franchise; one that had promise because of players like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. However, the picture that Oubre paints of Phoenix one where the appearance of an earnest desire to build the best possible team is just a facade.
Making a radio appearance on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” in San Francisco, Oubre was asked about the difference between playing for an owner like Joe Lacob and one with an unsavory reputation like Robert Sarver.
Per ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Oubre had this to say in response to the question:
“I can play for an owner — somebody who actually cares about the organization and not just the perception of the organization on the media end of it. It’s all about the foundation for me, man. You have a beautiful foundation, can build a beautiful [future].”
With Oubre’s perspective in mind, fun facts like Booker — now the franchise’s longest-tenured player at 24-years-old — having had 80 different teammates in just five seasons now looks like the byproduct of dysfunction more than Phoenix trying to find players to keep long-term.
That said, even though the Suns made a solid move in acquiring future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul by trading Oubre, perhaps ‘Tsunami Papi ‘is lucky that he wasn’t cast away earlier.