July 26, 2021

The Bucks beat the Suns this month in the NBA finals, yet Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton was my winner during the post-season. He is so expressive and his speech is so frank that his straight talk has become known as “Ayton-isms”.

Ayton delivers his perspective uniquely and with authenticity. And recently, he spoke directly about candor:

We all got on each other and had candid conversations where we had to adjust… candid conversations lead to wins, and it started to be great communication and constructive criticism and we just all take it into a positive and play together. ~ Deandre Ayton, July 7, 2021

Not since Yogi Berra and his legendary peculiar statements have I had so much fun hearing a player tell it exactly as he sees it.

That training camp was hell. It was good hell. I don’t know if there’s any such thing as good hell, but it was good hell…

Know who to yell at, know who not to tell at. Know who to encourage. There’s certain guys on the team, you curse them out, you’re basically cursing with them. That’s what amps them up.

We hate when they say, they’re starting four rookies. So what. So what. I’ve been busting guys’ butts since eighth grade when they’ve been playing overseas. That stuff doesn’t faze me, but we have to know what we’re doing.

That was a big win against a great team. Opened the league’s eyes. Opened our eyes. We know we have it. We’ve just got to keep doing it and be consistent.

I wouldn’t say I’m the best player. On the competitive level, I am the best competitor. I don’t think there’s anybody like me. I play my heart out on both ends of the floor, and I give my all.

Wiki reports the 23-year old Bahamian is known for being a physically demanding center at 7’1” in shoes. In his finals debut, Game 1, Ayton posted stats that placed him in the rarefied air of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell.

While he and the Phoenix Suns went home in second place, Ayton is my MVP (Most Verbally Proficient) choice of the season.