The Phoenix Suns are the hottest, best and most exciting team in the NBA right now, must-see TV whenever they’re playing.
Seriously, they’re a lot of fun.
But what about when they’re not playing? What’s a Suns-starved fan supposed to do on an off night?
“Courtside,” a new series of short online videos that show what goes into getting an NBA and WNBA team on the court, will be available online at noon Friday. The series will feature the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury.
“Each episode will take fans behind the scenes of various aspects of our players’ lives and what it takes to keep the best team in the NBA healthy, rested, performing and looking its absolute best,” a statement on the “Courtside” website says .
For now, a new episode is planned each week, but that may increase, a spokesman said.
First episode features the Verizon 5G Performance Center
The episodes are short — most are expected to be five minutes long or less.
The first one uses some pretty amazing drone footage to take viewers on a zippy tour of the Verizon 5G Performance Center, the $45 million complex where players train, eat, practice and more. The 53,000-square-foot building at 44th Street and Camelback Road opened in 2020.
Viewers see the practice court, kitchen area, weight room and a pretty swank lounge area. Why leave?
(Of course, on an NBA salary you could install a lot of this in your home. Still.)
“It’s a basketball laboratory where we get to ask a lot of smart, intelligent questions,” Ryan Resch, the team’s vice president for basketball strategy and evaluation, says in the video. And the technology allows them to answer them, he says. That includes more than 100 cameras and sensors to monitor, for instance, how a player is shooting.
“We invest resources, our players invest time,” James Jones, the Suns’ general manager, says in the video.
They’ve definitely invested the resources. It’s really something.
The second episode features Brendan Ayers, the Suns’ executive chef, showing off the kitchen, including storage areas that look kind of like the ones in the Overlook Hotel in “The Shining,” only, you know, friendlier.
“We really want to take care of these ingredients best as possible, treat them like gold, just like our players,” he says.
‘Courtside’ is definitely made for Suns fans, more fun than hard-hitting
Yesterdays also talks about some of the appliances that for the most part do not resemble what most people have in their houses. This includes an oven that sounds handy.
“Love to talk about this guy right here,” he says in the video. “This oven does it all, from poaching, steaming, grilling, frying, air frying — I can make fried rice in here. This piece of equipment literally saves our lives. From roasting fish, roasting roast, prime rib, fried chicken, you name it.”
Future episodes — there’s no set number planned — will include players.
To be sure, “Courtside” is a production made by the Suns for Suns fans. It’s not exactly a gritty, tell-all series. “Hard Knocks” it’s not. But it is an interesting look at facilities and the work that goes into getting players onto the court and keeping them there.
How to watch Phoenix Suns’ ‘Courtside’
First episode is available at noon Friday, Feb. 4, at https://courtside.suns.com. New episodes follow weekly.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism