Phoenix Suns game preview and every player’s social justice message

Bradley Beal Kelly Oubre Phoenix Suns (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal Kelly Oubre Phoenix Suns (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The NBA back and it is spectacular. The Phoenix Suns will take on the Washington Wizards and every player will don a social justice message on their uniform.

The Phoenix Suns have a basketball game that counts in a matter of hours. Seriously. What feels like an eternity has somehow snuck up on us like Devin Booker playing a n00b in Call of Duty.

The Suns went 2-1 in their three scrimmages and now everyone is ready for games to go into the stat sheet. They’ll have a solid chance to come out of the gates with a win as they will play the lowly Washington Wizards who are without John Wall, Bradley Beal, and soon-to-be-coveted-free-aged, Davis Bertans.

The Wizards lost all three of their scrimmage games and very well could be in line to lose many more. With Rui Hachimura as their leading play-maker, they simply don’t have the horses to run in the Derby that is the NBA bubble.

That being said, no game is automatic and the Suns will need to continue to show the same kind of spark they did in the warmups to get their longshot trek toward the playoffs off right.

Here are a few quick-hitters about this one:

Social Justice messages on Phoenix Suns uniforms

Just because NBA basketball is officially back, that doesn’t mean social justice issues will fade into the background. Players around the league are committed to that, and every member of the Phoenix Suns will do their part by wearing a (league-approved) message on their backs.

Here is the official list:

Deandre Ayton: RESPECT US
Aron Baynes: EQUALITY
Devin Booker: EQUALITY
Mikal Bridges: RESPECT US
Jevon Carter: RESPECT US
Cheick Diallo: FREEDOM
Ty Jerome: ENOUGH
Cameron Johnson: EQUALITY
Frank Kaminsky III: EQUALITY
Jalen Lecque: PEACE
Elie Okobo: EQUALITY
Kelly Oubre Jr.: PEACE
Cameron Payne: EQUALITY
Ricky Rubio: JUSTICE

Their last names will be below their numbers with the message arching across the top. While I completely support this, I have to admit, a few of these made me chuckle. When I first read Saric’s message, I thought it said “Antichrist” and had to do a double-take.

Also, the jokes write themselves around the back of Ty’s jersey, which will read, “Enough Jerome.” I mean, he hasn’t been playing great, but come on.

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Who will play?

Aron Baynes practiced with the team, however, Monty Williams said he got winded quickly and doesn’t anticipate him being able to contribute in a real game just yet. It would seem to me that getting him a few minutes here and there would help, but an NBA coach I am not.

The Phoenix Suns’ 15th man, Jalen Lecque, rejoined the team but is still in the league-mandated two-day quarantine so don’t expect to see him Friday afternoon. Even if he were there for the duration of the bubble, he likely wouldn’t make an appearance, but it is good to know he is with the team because he won’t be getting any run with the Northern Arizona Suns anytime soon.

Also, just because Oubre has a social justice message on his jersey, doesn’t mean he is available to play. Expect Kelly to be the team’s number one Deandre Ayton 3-point shooting fan on the sidelines, but no more than that.

At least for now.

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Game Info

Get ready for another mid-week afternoon game as the Arizona time tipoff will be 1:00 p.m.

TV: Fox Sports Arizona
Radio: ESPN 620 AM
Stream: NBA League Pass

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