PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is coming off an injury-shortened season that left him as a spectator in the bubble, but he says his knee is now 100%.
"My knee feels great," Oubre told ABC15. "I'm jumping like a feather. I mean, that's a great sign."
Oubre Jr. will be an unrestricted free agent after next season and said his mindset this offseason heading into a contract year is to work, work, work, but he seems to be the one Suns player that always comes up in trade rumors.
Watch the full one-on-one interview where Kelly Oubre Jr. talks life in the bubble, the NBA Finals, his offseason, and fashion in the player above.
"I'm a great piece to have to be great and fulfill greatness, but that's not my decision to make, that is the front office's," Oubre said of the potential of him being traded this offseason. "I just want to continue to go in there and be professional and just do my job and do what I can do to help this team get to where we want to get to, need to get to, so in the meantime, I'm in the gym every day, twice a day, so I'm going to work and get better so that you know no matter what, number three, Kelly Oubre Jr. is going to be okay."
As for the Suns bubble run, Oubre Jr. said it was a tough pill to swallow for the team to go 8-0 yet still get sent home.
"Very tough, but at the end of the day, you have to live with that you did everything in possible to be healthy, be ready, and to compete, and we did that," Oubre Jr. said. "I don't think we've proved anything to ourselves because that's always been in us. We always encourage each other and lift each other up to so each of us can be our best selves and to help this team, so I just feel like now it's about putting our respect on our name and understanding what we bring to the table."
Oubre Jr. said he doesn't miss the bubble life, but he misses the time he was there because it helped him learn so much. The Suns were there for a month, the Heat and Lakers will have been there for three months when all is said and done, competing for a championship, an impressive feat considering the circumstances.
"The team that can focus for the longest and can be together for the longest throughout the whole bubble experience, which is very strenuous on a player, especially if they are a father, especially if they have families back at home and things like that. It's very uncomfortable, but it's that willpower and is that mental strength that would get the best teams through."