The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Deandre Ayton's Big Change

Do you have kids? Toddlers? Then you can understand Deandre Ayton my frustration with him perfectly.

If you've listened to my radio show for longer than 3 minutes, you've likely heard me talk about my kids. If I could talk about them for all four hours a day, I would because kids are amazing.

But their growth and development can also be very frustrating.

Sound familiar?

Ayton flashed some aggressiveness in the Suns most recent loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. He dunked! He finished through contact! He bullied smaller defenders! And he dunked again!

It's kind of like my two year old. She pooped on the potty! She said "please!" She's sharing! She pooped on the potty again!

But then inevitably, just when you think you've turned a corner for good, she'll stand there and pee on the carpet right in front of you. Or she'll decided to randomly bonk her sister on the head with a toy. And even though you know it's all a part of the learning process, you find yourself frustrated and wondering if you were doing something wrong as a parent.

The truth is, it's just part of learning and growing.

The same is true for Ayton. Those flashes of aggressiveness or defensive intensity followed by lapses of effort are just a part of the growing process.

If my youngest daughter is still peeing on the carpet when she's five, we can have a different conversation. And if Ayton is still playing like a rookie in March or April, we'll have a different conversation too.

What I want to see change from Ayton right now is not what he does or doesn't do during a game but what he does after a game.

Ayton has a truly aggravating habit of saying too much during post game interviews.

Don't tell me what I want to hear, just go out and do it. Don't act like a team leader or team spokesman, understand you have to earn that with your play on the court.

Ayton is a great quote for those that cover him on a daily basis but he needs to talk in more cliches and coach speak than telling everyone what he knows they want to hear.

The words consistently ring hollow when they aren't backed up with action. To me it also reveals an unwillingness to actually do the hard work and instead thinks talking about it is a fin substitute. But its not.

Like a parent tells their kids: Don't tell me, show me.

And I don't want to have this talk again.

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