Suns put ‘fun’ back in basketball for Bolden
HE'S only played one game in The Valley, but Phoenix fans are already calling for the Suns to sign Aussie Jonah Bolden up for the rest of the season.
Handed an NBA lifeline by the Suns in the form of a 10-day contract after he was cut from the Philadelphia 76ers roster by Boomers coach Brett Brown, Bolden's debut helped Phoenix top Golden State 112-106.
In 26 minutes off the bench, the son of NBL legend Bruce Bolden did a little bit of everything, scoring six points to go with seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist, on his way to an equal team-high +17.
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Bolden delivered on a pre-game promise to "bring wins" and appeared to have rediscovered love for the game, after barely playing in Philly.
Jonah Bolden’s first Phoenix field goal.— SunOfficial Aron Baynes Fan Club (@BaynesFanClub) February 13, 2020
Jonah Bolden Jonah Boldening pic.twitter.com/IN7XREzybT— Our Hornets Also Go Suns Kevin (@TheKevinRice) February 13, 2020
"I can't remember the last time I played that many minutes and contributed to a win positively like that," Bolden said.
"Definitely fun, that was the first thing and then us getting the win helps.
"To sum it up, just fun, great group of guys, great coach, coaching staff, yeah, fun."
The 24-year-old faced a sharp learning curve when he arrived in Phoenix yesterday, but said the club had done its best to help him integrate.
"(They were) catching me up to everything as much as we can," Bolden said.
"Compartmentalising everything and segmenting it into offence-defence plays (and) transition.
"Taking it step-by-step and retaining and visualising everything - it's been good so far."
Bolden has joined injured fellow Aussie Aron Baynes on the roster and he knows coach Monty Williams well - Williams was an assistant in Philadelphia during Bolden's rookie year.
He figures as a key player in the Australia's quest for a first male Olympic basketball medal, although Brown's decision to cut him presents an interesting wrinkle, given the Sixers coach will helm the Boomers in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, fellow Boomer Ryan Broekhoff admitted on Thursday he was shocked by Dallas' decision to cut him on Tuesday. The Frankston native is hopeful another NBA club will claim him off waivers but, if that doesn't happen, a reported two-year deal is on the table from Greek giant Olympiacos.
New teammates are fired up for Jonah Bolden, who recovered after looking like he got fouled under the basket and laid the ball in. Then he got a block on the other end. "Good shit, Jonah!" Kelly Oubre yelled from the scorer's table. #Suns lead 94-82 with 9:30 to play.— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) February 13, 2020
I know we shouldn't go overboard on single game plus/minus, but Jonah Bolden should be signed friggin' immediately.— Lee Capp (@ItsCaptainKoala) February 13, 2020
Jonah Bolden signs a 10-day, makes a big impact the same day— Wam Wooper (@scooperhoops) February 13, 2020
Great first impression. Monty gave him more playing time than Diallo and he hasn't even had a chance to practice with this roster.
Jonah bolden is already better than diallo no boneheaded moves, plays defense, hustles, grabs boards, sets screens and I believe he can shoot the three.— suns 21-61 (@kirkobaynes) February 13, 2020
I’m about to make my page into a Jonah Bolden fan page 😅— #MarteMania (@Whitebird480) February 13, 2020
I'm preparing the max offer for Jonah Bolden as we speak— The REAL Blunt Doctor (@Blunt_Doctor_RX) February 13, 2020
Jonah Bolden was the missing piece, I've been saying this— Rohan Singh (@haan_singh91) February 13, 2020