Oubre Jr. on mentality with Suns: ‘If you’re in my way, you’re getting destroyed’

Kelly Oubre Jr. of the Suns celebrates after his Phoenix debut, a win at Boston on Wednesday night.

The fact he was traded was not surprising to Kelly Oubre Jr., but now that he’s with the Phoenix Suns, he looks forward to what comes next.

The 23-year-old was acquired by the Suns along with the since-waived Austin Rivers in exchange for Trevor Ariza.

“I wasn’t really surprised (to be traded), man,” Oubre told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Anything can happen, it’s a business. I was just on the business side of basketball, so (now) I make a new home in Phoenix.”

The 15th overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks out of Kansas believes he is a good fit for the wing-heavy Suns, for whom he can use his length and athleticism to fit in perfectly.

“Defense leads to offense. Just focus on that, just continue to keep that gameplan solid,” Oubre said. “I’m a confident individual but one thing I know I can control everyday is my effort and my energy. I will do that each and every night. My offense will follow. I’m not really worried about that because I know I can play.”

The youngster makes a clear, pointed statement about his mission when he steps onto the court.

“I’m trying to kill everybody, man,” he said. “Straight up. If you’re in my way, you’re getting destroyed.”

Oubre backed it up during his debut for the Suns in Phoenix’s surprising 111-103 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night at TD Garden. He scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. He added six rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocked shots in 26 minutes.

“I don’t think you can have a better opening day, right?” Suns veteran point guard Jamal Crawford said, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “It’s like a new kid going to school and he has an unbelievable first day. It goes right in line with what we’re trying to build.”

Oubre feels more than welcome with the Suns, who have won four consecutive games, though sharing the NBA’s worst record (8-24) with Cleveland and Atlanta.

“You’re meeting all new people, you’ve got to come (in) and kind of reassert yourself,” Oubre said, according to Rankin. “Everybody welcomed me with open arms and I feel happy to be here.”

 

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