Photo: Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones recently lauded Deandre Ayton’s introspective attitude and commitment to altering public perception about his game. Ayton recently spoke about feeling underappreciated and wanting to redefine the narrative surrounding him.

Jones acknowledged that players today often face the challenge of navigating social media and external opinions, but he commended Ayton for being self-aware. The young center’s ambition to become great and his unyielding focus on winning impressed Jones.

In response to Ayton’s statements, Jones stated via Duane Rankin of Arizona Republic, “He’s just aware, self-aware… He’s an 18 (points per game) and 10 (rebounds per game) player, and if you were to ask the game’s greatest players how easy it is to do that, they’ll tell you it’s extremely difficult, but even that bar isn’t high enough for him and others.”

“He’s challenging himself to change the narrative,” Jones continued. “The internal, external motivations will always be there and I think he’s just trying to harness that now.”

Last season the 25-year-old center averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Jones emphasized the difficulty of achieving such impressive stats and underlined Ayton’s relentless drive to exceed expectations.