As the saying goes, great minds think alike.
Look no further than the McDonough family who’s sports pedigree includes the Jacksonville Jaguars Director of Player Personnel (Terrry) ESPN/ABC broadcaster (Sean) and now Phoenix Suns General Manager (Ryan). Their deceased father (Will) was a columnist for the Boston Globe.
33-year old Ryan, who was named the fledgling Suns GM on Tuesday and officially introduced to the Phoenix media Thursday, brings a shrewd evaluation for talent, a tireless work ethic and a refined, intricate skill set learning under Celtics GM Danny Ainge. He considers the former Suns guard and head coach his mentor. The two worked together in Boston, helping the Celtics to an NBA title in 2008.
Another individual who’s well-respected at what he does is long-time ESPN/ABC and CBS college basketball analyst Jay Bilas who’s best friends with Sean McDonough and has watched Ryan climb to an NBA GM position.
“Every time we’d get together for dinner or a drink after a game and we’d sit down and talk basketball I’d say to Sean he should be running a team,” Bilas told Brad Cesmat in a recent interview on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I think it’s a great hire by the Suns.”
Bilas believes one underlying trait which has gone unnoticed through the process is McDonough’s internal drive for success.
“He’s a guy who’s an extraordinarily hard-worker and has a humility to him that will keep him working hard no matter how much success he continues to have.”
Success hasn’t been a word attached to the Suns recently on or off the court. Phoenix has failed to reach the playoffs the past four seasons, hitting rock bottom in 2012-13 going 25-57.
“He’s a guy that doesn’t do a lot of talking,” Bilas explained to Cesmat. “He does a lot of doing. Ryan’s got an idea and a vision of what he wants to do and I think that’s really important.”
Sounds like exactly what the Suns need as they pick up the pieces and begin to rebuild starting with naming their new head coach and working towards the NBA draft next month.