Catch. Shoot. Swish. That is all new Phoenix Suns guard Michael Redd did after he entered an NBA game last night for the first time this season. He has not suited up to play competitive basketball in 285 days, but tonight his shot was cash money.
Redd made a quicker than expected entrance after teammate Grant Hill had to leave the game early with an injury that caused him to miss the entire second half. After a quick appearance on defense Redd caught a corner pass from Steve Nash and knocked down his first three. In shootaround before the game Redd was shooting the ball from that same corner nailing shot after shot with no defense.
Once the game started it was more of the same because the Cavaliers lost him on the very next play, resulting in another three point shot, from the same exact spot, uncontested. This was his first action of the young season, dropping 12 points off the bench in just 19 minutes of action. His shot was throw-back Milwaukee good as he torched a team that should’ve seen it coming.
Thursday was a blast from Redd’s past against a familiar foe, but with a drastically different look. Even his former teammate Ramon Sessions thought it was strange to see him in purple and gold,
“To see him in a different uniform was a bit strange,” Sessions said, all smiles when I asked him about his former mentor in Milwaukee who he referred to as M-Dot. “But I think this is a good fit for him out here. He looks good.”
Hitting those back-to-back three’s was not a shock to Sessions, but he thinks it may have been to his younger teammates.
“I think we forgot he was out there, he subbed in kind of early,” he said. “Guys might have forgotten about him, but they know the scouting report on him.”
It has been a long journey back to basketball for Redd after appearing in only 61 games the past four years. Now he’s back looking for a fresh start in the Valley of the Sun, a place where other stars have seen their careers lengthened like Shaquille O’Neal, Vince Carter and Hill.
A few seasons ago, the team was a legit shooting guard away from being a serious threat out West. The addition of Jason Richardson was enough to catapult the Suns to the Western Conference Finals. This is one game and the Suns are far from title contenders, but it may be a step in the right direction for a team in transition. Maybe that’s too bold after one game, but Phoenix seems to be where the home of the fountain of youth.
Redd is not at 100 percent and he knows it; playing in a back-to-back will really be a test on his body. He is not fully healthy or in-shape quiet yet, but was still pleased with his performance. When I asked him about knocking down those early threes and if he was gone long enough for the league to forget about him, he smiled ear to ear and replied, “I hope it stays a secret for the rest of the year.”
Will Redd give Phoenix a big boost this year?
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