Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  By RANDY HILL  |  Last updated 10/11/13
Suns-frye-reacts-after
PHOENIX -- Late in the third quarter of a preseason game with limited interludes of importance, Channing Frye fired a 3-point shot that bounced off the front rim and politely passed through on its descent. "Joel Freeland was like, 'How did that go in? Frye said, recollecting one of those important interludes during the Suns Wednesday night triumph in Portland. Here was Fryes response: When I shoot, I always expect it to go in. Thats my job. And Frye being able to do his job again was the main reason this practice game seemed so compelling. After missing all of last season with an enlarged heart, the former University of Arizona and Phoenix St. Marys High star had returned to the Suns with the seemingly optimistic hope of playing sometime in December. You know me, Frye said after Fridays practice at US Airways Center. I just continue to push myself, and here I am. Bagging 14 points -- making 5 of 6 shots, including 3 of 4 from deep -- in 16 minutes in Portland had a few reporters pushing Frye for insights regarding a surprisingly swift readjustment to NBA-level basketball. Until a couple of weeks ago, we werent certain the Suns medical staff would even allow Frye to attempt a comeback yet. When that hurdle was cleared, the Suns -- and Frye, to some extent -- believed it would take a while for the 6-foot-11 stretch four to achieve levels of conditioning and timing worthy of playing time. First-year coach Jeff Hornacek, whose commitment to a faster tempo and an appropriately spaced offensive alignment wasnt exactly accompanied by a legion of sharpshooters, certainly expected much less at this juncture. Yeah, because I didnt think he was going to play at all, Hornacek said. I thought hed go slowly, but he kept pushing through stuff during training camp. He rarely sat out. But he did sit out during Monday nights game with Maccabi Haifa, setting up his return in a place (Portland) thats become his second home. "Very emotional, Frye said when asked if the gravity of what hed been through accompanied him into Wednesdays game. "I was emotional all day. I think, to me ... its like ... what an opportunity." An opportunity he made the most of as in making 5 of 6 shots. I got hot, said Frye, who had warmed up during camp in Flagstaff, a run of elite marksmanship that included last Saturdays intrasquad scrimmage. With Markieff Morris stepping into the lead power forward gig and a couple of card-carrying centers looming as stunt doubles at that position, Fryes comeback suddenly has provided Hornacek with more options. Once they said he could play, Hornacek said, we all started thinking about him. Are they thinking of him in a starting capacity? We dont know, Hornacek said. We dont know how were to do it yet. But barring a setback, Frye seems good to go once the regular season begins. Beyond his ability to make jumpers and keep help defenders out of the lane, Fryes experience is important on a team with so many inexperienced newcomers. Hes a veteran guy, Hornacek said. Hes been around long enough to know how to play basketball, and we see it through rotations defensively where some guys are still slow to react. He knows the game, and hes already there. That makes it a lot easier, especially teaching the young guys. The mentoring aspect is fine and important, but Frye -- the Suns senior citizen at age 30 -- isnt preparing to take a subordinate role. My attitude is like Im all in, he said. Its awesome to be able to get out there and run. We have the best training staff in the league, and they continually help me push myself to the maximum but then recover and be able to do it again the next day. For most of the past year, Fryes physical exertion was limited to light yoga. Now, hes attempting to regain sufficient strength and stamina to battle some of the biggest, baddest players in professional sports. I was saying December, he said of his return target, but here I go playing the second game of preseason. Im going to use this preseason as much as any veteran is going to use it.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker