Sports360AZ’s lead Suns columnist and host of the Solar Panel Greg Esposito got a chance to catch up with Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe to talk about his season, family, being benched, if he thinks he’ll be traded this offseason and more.
Or listen to the entire episode here:
Greg Esposito : What did you attribute your success to this year?
Eric Bledsoe: Hard work and my family. Earl, my teammates and I had a life coach. I had a great circle around me. I stayed dedicated and put in hard work.
Espo: How big of an impact did Earl Watson have in his first year?
Bled: He believes in everybody. He gave everybody confidence. He stayed on guys to get the best out of them. Even though we weren’t winning everybody played extremely hard for him. That’s all you can ask for. It goes on beyond that. He’s a great off court guy as well.
Espo: Was this your best season of your career?
Bled: Yeah, because I stayed healthy. Last year I was having a great year but my season ended short. Who knows? I guess you could say that.
Espo: Did you think you should have been an all-star this year?
Bled: Without a question. Without a question. I definitely thought so. There’s a lot of pros and cons that come with it. That’s stuff you have to live with. You just have to push forward.
I definitely want to be one someday. I already feel like I already am one. I don’t need someone else to tell me.
Espo: Do you feel you fulfilled the leadership duties the front offices wanted you to?
Bled: No question. I thought I did a great job this season of being a great leader as far as not taking plays off and getting on guys. Not in a bad way, in a positive way. I went out there each and every day to get better.
Espo: Was the criticism fair that the Suns took for helping Devin Booker get to 70 points?
Bled: People criticize everyday. You can do the smallest thing wrong they’re going to criticize you about it. Even if you do something right. We were just proud that he went out there and played his tail off like that and becoming part of history. I was extremely happy he went out there without settling.
Espo: We’re you OK with being sat for the end of the season?
Bled: Of course not! I don’t think any player would be OK with it. At the end of the day I’ve got to be professional. I’ve been in this league awhile and I don’t want to have no bad reputation. I thought I did a great job of handling it the best way possible. I put in great work that’s going to contribute to this summer and carry over to the season again next year. Hopefully we won’t have this situation again.
Espo: Did being benched hurt your relationship with coach Earl Watson and the front office?
Bled: I don’t think so. (Laughs)
Espo: There are a lot of rumors out there, do you see yourself as part of the future for the Suns?
Bled: All I can do is prepare for next season. Nothing’s going to stop me from getting better. It’s a tough situation for both sides. But at the end of the day, I’ve got a lot of basketball left to be played. Whatever happens, happens. It’s not going to stop me from trying to reach the goals I want to reach which is winning a championship.
Espo: Mock drafts show the Suns taking a point guard, is it tough to know that?
Bled: I don’t care. I don’t care. They can take whoever they want to take. At the end of the day I have to control what I can control. When I’m on the court each and every night giving it my all in front of my family, the organization I’m playing for and the fans and everything. That’s all I can control.
Espo: If you don’t return to Phoenix, what do you hope Suns fans remember about your time here?
Bled: Just that I gave it my all when I came out and played. That I gave 110% and left it all out there on the court.