Deandre Ayton has faced a lot of criticism for his role in the Phoenix Suns, but his time playing for the Bahamian national team alongside his future teammate Eric Gordon shows that he is ready for a fresh start.
In a pre-qualifying tournament for the Olympics, the Bahamian team defeated Cuba 109-68, with Ayton contributing 22 points and ten rebounds on an impressive 10-14 shooting. After the game, Ayton exuded positive energy and expressed his feelings of joy.
“It felt amazing,” Ayton said. “It was fun. It was a truly emotional feeling to have so many Bahamian guys, so many great players, all working towards the same goals and understanding the opportunity we have in playing in Argentina. We know this is a big deal.”
Ayton has teamed up with new Suns guard Eric Gordon, who signed a two-year deal with the franchise during free agency and made the switch from the USA Team to the Bahamas team.
In the game against Cuba, Gordon posted 17 points, four rebounds, and two assists on 6-10 shooting from the field, including 2-3 from beyond the arc.
Ayton spoke about the experience of playing with Gordon and emphasized the benefits it brings before they join a talented Suns team that includes players like Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and Yuta Watanabe.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Ayton said. “It’s something that I never thought would happen. He’s such a great player as well. Having a feel for his game before we both enter training camp and start competing against each other to develop chemistry, I’m glad we figured that out early. We’re now looking to make history and qualify for the Olympics, which is truly something special.”
In Gordon’s postgame interview, he had nothing but praise for Ayton and stated, “He’s going to be a threat” for the Suns in the upcoming NBA season.
Image Source: Deandre Ayton @ Instagram