The trade deadline is a stressful time not just for front office personnel trusted with making tough decisions that will impact a franchise’s future, but it can be harrowing for many players, as well.
P.J. Tucker of the Phoenix Suns was apparently a bit on edge in the days leading up to Thursday’s deadline, but it likely didn’t have anything to do with his on-court performance.
Tucker’s energy and physical style are perfect compliments to a Suns team that let the deadline come and go without pulling off any trades, but a missed phone call from GM Ryan McDonough 24 hours or so before the deadline had Tucker understandably shaken.
McDonough was calling on Wednesday to inform Tucker that he had been fined by the league for his second flopping offense. But Tucker had no way of knowing what the call was about, hence his apprehension once McDonough finally got him on the phone.
“I called P.J. and it went to voicemail,” McDonough said, in an interview with Greg Esposito of Suns.com. “I didn’t leave a message, I was just about to text him and ask him to call me back. P.J. called me back — it was about one o’clock [Wednesday] afternoon, so we were about 24 hours before the deadline — and I noticed P.J. was a little short of breath, breathing a little heavy. Then the light went on in my head. I said ‘P.J., we’re not trading you. That’s not what this call’s about.’ Then he said ‘Thank goodness, man. I love it here. I was so nervous.’
“I don’t think anybody’s ever been happier to be fined than P.J. Tucker was when I told him, ‘The good news is you’re not being traded, the bad news is that you are getting fined.’ And I think he was glad to pay the fine if he could stay here in Phoenix.”
The story explains Tucker’s somwhat cryptic Twitter message he posted, complimenting the weather in Phoenix once the deadline had passed.
Gotta love it.. A lil more after the deadline lol RT @Jumpshot8: This Phoenix weather is not fair. 80. Ummmm.
— PJ Tucker (@PJTUCKER17) February 20, 2014