October 20, 2012: Beasley, Brown impress during scrimmage
There has been very little opportunity for Valley fans to catch a glimpse in-person of the new-look Phoenix Suns.
Yes, the team has played four preseason games but only one of those has been at home.
Saturday, another opportunity was presented.
The Suns opened up US Airways Center for the team's annual open practice, which attracted an estimated 5,000 fans.
"These are the really, really true fans that come out to something like this because on a Saturday afternoon there's probably a whole lot more you could be doing," head coach Alvin Gentry said. "But they chose to come out and see us. These are the kind of things that we really appreciate."
A 10-minute scrimmage highlighted the event that also included entertainment by The Gorilla, Suns Dancers, Verve Sol Patrol and Solar Squad.
In the scrimmage, Michael Beasley scored 10 points but Team Black (starters) came up short, losing to Team White (reserves), 27-25. Shannon Brown had 7 points.
Said Gentry afterwards, "I think (the fans are) going to appreciate these guys with the effort they play with and the intensity that they walk out on the floor with."
In a possible sign of things to come, Jared Dudley put an exclamation point on the scrimmage with a play worthy of SportsCenter's Top 10.
Of course the game-ending dunk took two attempts.
"It was actually better I missed (the first dunk)," he said. "If you saw the second dunk, it might've been my most impressive dunk so far in preseason: off the backboard, two hands, two feet. Best dunk so far out there I guarantee it."
Dudley has set a goal of 17 dunks this season.
"I'm dunking a lot more," he said. "It's all a mentality."