Roanoke, Va. – In the same gym where his high school jersey hangs on the wall, immortalized under glass, Troy Daniels is trying to be normal.
At his annual basketball camp, Daniels, while coming off the best season of his professional career, is hoping the youngsters at his camp can see him as just a regular person.
“I told them when the camp started, don’t look at me as an NBA player, look at me as a Roanoke Virginian” Daniels explained. “Come up to me. Talk to me. I’m a regular guy.”
One that had anything but a regular season in terms of his professional career. With the Phoenix Suns this past year, his fifth different team, Daniels played in 79 games, starting 15. He averaged 20.5 minutes, 8.9 points and 2.3 three pointers made per game, all career highs.
Those numbers were tempered a bit by the fact that Phoenix had the worst record in the NBA this past year, but Daniels believes he's in the right spot on a team that will improve quickly.
"You want to win more" Daniels said. "And with winning comes better contracts and better opportunities. I think Phoenix is a great organization and is doing great with their young guys. I think in the next couple of years, they're going to be really, really good."
That young core group will soon include Arizona center Deandre Ayton, according to Daniels, who believes the Suns will stick close to home with their first overall pick.
"I can't complain if we're winning or losing" Daniels said. "I get to wake up every morning and play basketball."
"What kind of better job could I ask for?"