Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns isn’t mad that Luka Doncic has been getting all of the love this season, but he is a bit salty. He’d simply like to receive some of the praise he deserves.
Ayton is shooting 61% from the field while averaging a double-double. Ayton leads all rookies in rebounds per game (10.7) and field goal percentage (60.6) while also averaging 16.7 points and 2.2 assists. Ayton sat down with Marc Spears(The Undefeated) and explained why he’s disappointed over the lack of buzz in contrast to Mavericks sensation Luka Doncic.
“I cringe a little bit,” Ayton told The Undefeated. “I have family and friends who always talk about it. I hear them. I try not to really buy into that stuff. Obviously, it gives me a little edge. I just want to go out there for my teammates and just play. I’ve always been under the radar,” Ayton said. “Everybody knows what type of player I am. They just don’t want to give me the credit, I guess. I had to work very hard to deserve everything I have now. I don’t see what the issue is. I just got to keep working.”
Ayton is on pace to be the first rookie in NBA history to average 16-10 on 60 percent shooting. Off the court he and Doncic are represented by the same agency and keep in contact.
He might not be getting the love for a big season though, the Suns have the 2nd worst record in the league .
“I watch his games all the time. He’s a beast,” Ayton said of Doncic, who played for Real Madrid CF last season. “I’m like, ‘Aw, what the heck, there is no way Doncic is a rookie.’ That is what I say sometimes when I watch him play. He’s been there [professionally]. He’s been in situations like this.”
“I don’t talk to him every day, but we’re pretty cool,” Ayton said. “The respect level is right there. I first got to know him during Rookie Transition [camp]. During pre-draft I was looking for agents, and we finally chose BDA. That’s when I realized, ‘Yo, Luka and I have the same agent.’ I looked at BDA’s social media and I saw Doncic. I was like, ‘Yo, we are the youngest cats in this agency right now.’ That is pretty cool.
“[BDA Sports senior director of communications] Alyson [Furch] always tells me, ‘He always tells me to tell you good luck in the games.’ I see him giving me social media love, liking my pictures and leaving comments. We started clicking after that. We did a WhatsApp number exchange.”
YOU GOTTA WIN GAMES.