Ish Wainright kept his food down this time.
When learning about his multi-year deal in February, Wainright literally vomited due to excitement over the news.
Wainright didn’t have the same extreme reaction to the Suns picking up their team option on him for the 2023-24 season as he was in Napa Valley wine tasting when receiving word.
“Words can’t explain it,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything. I’ve got to prove, I got to continue to work. I’ve got to continue to be that person.”
Once a two-way player, Wainright has received motivational fuel from those on social media who say he shouldn’t be on the team.
“I haven’t done anything in this league,” he said. “I have no respect. It’s a lot of chatter out there. I’ve put that behind me. I don’t really care what anybody has to say. I worked my butt off to get here and I’m going to continue to work my butt off to get to the next level and that’s be a good piece on this team.”
The strong 6-6, 250-pound forward averaged 4.2 points in his second season with the Suns. Trying to establish himself as a 3-point threat, Wainright shot 32.9% from deep last season.
The Suns have changed their roster starting with Bradley Beal, whom they acquired in a blockbuster trade that sent Chris Paul to Washington, and remained a championship contender.
“It’s going to be very, very competitive,” Wainright said. “Like Brad said, like big bro said in his press conference, it’s going to feel good to be the hunted. Every game counts. Every second counts. Every practice counts. No days off to be honest with you. We are the hunted, and it’s OK. We’re ready.”
Wainright plans to return to Phoenix after hosting a basketball camp and block party in his hometown of Kansas City on July 15-16.
“My dad did it when I was growing up,” said Wainright about his father, Calvin, who passed away last fall. “I watched him do all this stuff. Now it’s my turn. This is something I want to do for the city. It’s a free event for all the kids.”
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Ish Wainright hearing ‘chatter’ on about still being with the Phoenix Suns