Knight irked by question about coming off bench

Posted at 1:32 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 16:37:29-04

On Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns concluded a highly frustrating 23-59 campaign.

That frustration appeared to spill into the first day of the team's offseason -- at least for guard Brandon Knight.

See also: 3 big offseason questions for the Phoenix Suns

The fourth-year pro gave a couple of interesting responses to questions on Thursday, just hours after the Suns' season ended with a home win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"Like I said: I see my role being the same. Whatever I did this year, I plan on being better next year."

First, Knight was asked about whether it's intriguing to think about playing with some of the younger Suns who took significant steps forward during the season.

"Not really. I mean, we kind of expect it," he said. "When you're playing that much and you're getting a lot of time in, that's kind of what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to take those steps and get better.

"We hold ourselves to a high standard ...  I'm pretty sure all the older guys expected all our younger guys to do that, and we wouldn't want anything less."

The injury bug plagued the Suns this season, and guard Brandon Knight was not immune. The 24-year-old averaged nearly 20 points per game but missed 30 games due to injury, including the Suns' final seven games with a sports hernia. 

Meanwhile, shooting guard and fellow Kentucky alum Devin Booker shined in his rookie season, especially in Knight's absence. The 19-year-old averaged 13.8 points in 76 games, including 17.4 points per game as a starter.

Booker's emergence, along with the return of starting point guard and leading scorer Eric Bledsoe from a season-ending knee injury, means either Booker or Knight will likely have to come off the bench in 2016-17.

On Thursday, Knight was asked about that possibility.

"My role's gonna be the same. I don't see my role changing," he said. "We'll see what happens next year as far as roles, but I see my role being exactly the same."

When asked a follow-up question about whether he'd accept a role as a reserve, Knight appeared a little irritated.

"I see my role being the same," he repeated.

Pressed on the point one last time, Knight stuck to his original answer.

"Like I said: I see my role being the same," he said. "Whatever I did this year, I plan on being better next year."

Knight's response was a sharp contrast to that of Bledsoe's on Thursday.

"You've just got to sacrifice," he said when asked about sharing playing time with Knight and Booker next season.

"It's up to the coach to play who's playing their butt off that night. So, it's up to the coach, and we can control coming out in the summertime and putting the work in to where we're jelling as a team."