Michael Redd signed with the Suns back on Dec. 29, and at the time, the message was clear that there would be no rush in getting him to the court. But after 10 days of workouts with the team, it appears that his time is almost here.
“I think he’s almost to the point where we can stick him in a game and play him a few minutes and kind of let him get acclimated to what we’re doing,” said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, before Phoenix easily took care of the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. “Maybe even Thursday or Friday, we may just have an opportunity to stick him in and see. We’ll just have to see what happens with him in the next couple of days, see how he’s feeling. But I think he’s getting close to wanting to have some game action and see where he is.”
Redd has been seen working hard on the arena floor before the team’s last two home games, and says he feels like he’s getting closer to being in game shape.
“I feel good,” Redd said. “Just trying to get myself prepared for a game situation. But I feel great; there’s no pain. There have been no setbacks at all. The training staff has been working with me night and day to continue to get stronger, continue to get better, and I feel good.”
When told of Gentry’s proclamation that game time might be on the horizon as soon as this week, it was news to Redd. But he took the coach’s remarks as a positive evaluation of his progress.
“That’s encouraging,” he said. “They must see something, then. I don’t have any expectations of minutes, I’ve come to just work and get better, and whatever [coach] asks me to do, I’ll do. Which, he said, is pretty much scoring. But it’s fun, my teammates have been great, they welcomed me in. The coaching staff and the organization’s been great.”
Redd is also predictably excited about getting the opportunity to lace ’em up alongside a playmaker like Steve Nash.
“Oh my gosh, It’s a dream, man. It’s a shooter’s dream to play with a guy like that,” Redd said. “His vision is impeccable, the man just knows how to play the game. Playing against this team I had a great respect for him, but playing with him now, you can see why he’s so great.”
With Redd’s decline in minutes over the past three seasons due to injury, it’s easy to forget the level of talent he possesses. But when healthy, he’s among the purest shooters in the game. At this stage of his career, he seems humble and ready to do whatever he can to help — even if he’s not sure where exactly he might fit with this Suns team just yet.
“I’ll find my way,” he said. “It won’t be hard for me to just continue to do what coach asks me to do, learn the system, learn the plays. Which I’ve been trying to do this past week. Then just play basketball. That’s it.”